Town of Arcadia residents can expect to see an increase in their water and sewer bills before the end of the year.
The town is currently experiencing many sewage and water issues, some of which are OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violations. According to John Crain, who gave the report on behalf of the Water Department, there are 12 lift stations in the town and an additional one is needed in the vicinity of the Arcadia Event Center.
“We have an issue with our water tanks, some of the items to be repaired aren’t essential, but many are. They are actually critical. They are OSHA violations,” said Crain. “All of the electrical panels on every lift station also needs to be replaced.”
Installing the new panels does not take a lot of time, but they are costly. The last electrical panel cost approximately $17,000 and took 8 months to be delivered after the order was placed.
Mr. Larry Jones just took over the Sewer Department and is newly certified. According to Jones the Wastewater Treatment plant is in the same condition with multiple non-compliances. Recent tests have shown higher levels of ammonia due to incomplete wastewater treatment.
A solution to this problem would be to add more oxygen to the disposal area by ways of a new aerator or removing some of the sludge. The cost for the needed equipment, groundwork and installation is also very high.
“I want you all to understand that the average sewer bill in the state is $45 dollars. That is the average sewer plus water in the town of Arcadia,” said Jones. “Your sewer bills are too low.”
According to Town of Arcadia Mayor O’Landis Millican, residents are currently paying $2.00 a month for sewer. Rates have not increased since 2003.
“This something we got to look into. Be expecting an increase in your water and sewer rates before the end of the year,” said Millican.
The mayor and council will begin meeting in the coming months after they receive bids on the required equipment, installation and upgrades to work out the new cost of services.
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