July 16, 2014 10:28:57 AM
MILLPORT, Ala. -- "Sometimes, it takes forever for water to come out."
Millport resident Brenda Medley is keen to see the city improve water pressure for her home and those owned by others along Highway 96 and Payne Chapel Road after dealing with low pressure and sometimes discolored water, she told the Millport Town Council Monday night.
Medley, who said she was representing more than five different households, said one of her neighbors has experienced muddy water, while others have experienced low and erratic pressure in faucets and washing machines since the beginning of the year.
"Some of us, over the last two months, have had higher water bills," Medley said. "Some days, you get a burst of water, then just a little stream. It's gotten really frustrating."
A resolution won't be swift, however. Councilman Tim Fields said a water line may be pinched, but the city won't know for sure until Millport Assistant Water Superintendent Kyle Shaw and Streets Director Robby McAdams investigate the issue.
"We had a main blow out in late December, right across from Payne Chapel Road," said Fields. "I wonder if there's blockage there. We've all got to get up with our water people and work out this issue."
Town Clerk Lynette Ogden said the main had been repaired, but another in the area had blown out.
Medley told the board as many as three water mains had broken and been repaired since December, including on near Holly Grove Cemetery.
The board didn't take any action on the matter but Mayor Icie Wriley said she would keep residents abreast of plans to resolve the issue.
Town's ISO review nearly complete
Fields, who also serves as Millport's fire chief, said the town performed well during its recent inspection by the Insurance Services Office.
The city hasn't received word on if the city's rating will improve from a 6 to a 5, but Fields said Shaw and McAdams' knowledge of the town's water system and flow statistics, which account for 40 percent of the matrix used to issue a rating, was impressive and impressed the review official.
"The (ISO) guy would go over flow statistics, and both of them (Shaw and McAdams) would end up within a few PSI difference," Fields said. "There are a lot of calculations, knowing our high and low lines. I think we did well on the water said, which included nine tests, including hydrants."
The lower an ISO rating, the cheaper insurance rates are for home and business owners.
Fields said he thought equipment reviews went well, too. However, improving upon its current rating will depend on several factors, like the fire management services and their upkeep in Lamar County and East Lowndes County, since the ISO rating is calculated based on a five-mile radius from the fire station. Fields said a second station, with a brush truck and an engine, could help. However, the costs for equipment and operations would need to be shared with other municipalities.
Fields said more hydrant tests remain for the town to receive the results of its review
In other action:
■ The city received its fire code for its municipal complex, which houses city hall and the city library. Max occupancy for the "main room", often rented for weddings, is 73 people with chairs and tables; 155 without chairs or tables. Ogden said she'd revise contracts to include current occupancy limits.
■ Wriley announced a new deadline (Aug. 28) to have work on its lagoon system completed, per Alabama Department of Economic Community Affairs guidelines laid out in a $350,000 grant to repair the system. Wriley said part of the delay was to receive permission from Lamar County Commissioners to lease land that would allow the current lagoon to dry out, which would alleviate the extensive costs to haul away the materials that routinely clog the lagoon. The Council recently re-opened bids for the project.
1. Councilman Turner responds to AG opinion COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Camp Rising Sun: A community treasure COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Higgins: $150 million project eying Lowndes Port COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY