Porterdale OKs sale of wastewater

PORTERDALE - The City Council authorized the mayor Monday night to sign an agreement to sell 50,000 gallons per day of reserve wastewater treatment capacity to the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority as a means of bringing needed revenue into city coffers.

The agreement, which will now go to the board of directors of the authority for its consideration, is expected to net the city about $152,000, which is needed to help balance the 2009 budget.

Under the contract, which was first proposed by Mayor Bobby Hamby in November, the reserve capacity will be sold for $8 per gallon, which would generate about $400,000 in revenue. The proceeds will be used to pay $111,000 to the authority for back payments for the town's share of operating costs for the land application sewage treatment facility and another $25,000 for its share of a project to replace a water line on the Yellow River bridge. In addition, Hamby said the authority is stipulating that Porterdale pay its 2009 operating and maintenance costs for the land application facility in advance.

The balance remaining from the sale will be used to make payments on the city's two loans from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA). Those loans - one of which was actually taken out by Newton County in 1993 on behalf of Porterdale - were used to fund water projects for the town. Porterdale makes quarterly payments of $39,300 to Newton County and monthly payments of $10,118 to GEFA for the second loan.

In other news, the City Council approved the appointment of City Manager Tom Fox as absentee ballot clerk and municipal registrar for city elections. The council appointed Bobby Jack Savage to serve as poll manager for the upcoming special election on March 17 to fill the vacant Post 4 seat on the council. Qualifying fees were set at $15 for council seats.

Alice Queen can be reached at alice.queen@rockdalecitizen.com.