Utilities Board briefed on projects

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Andalusia Utilities Board listened for more than two hours last night as departing general manager Jerry Williams reviewed a one-inch thick notebook of ongoing projects, potential projects and accounting procedures.

Board members were told about:

The Utilities Board’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) should be ready for testing later this spring. The project includes the installation of electronic meters for the electric system and water system, and the installation of a network that reads those meters.

The installation of generators at water wells and sewer lift stations, funded by grants, to keep the systems operational in the event of electrical outages.

The expected delivery of a new tractor with side boom cutter and new bucket truck.

The planned use of a spray buggy for weed control on water and sewer main right-of-ways, work that previously has been maintained with a bush hog.

Agreements entered with developers of the proposed Pinnacle Apartment Complex, and with developers working on Hwy. 84 east, to provide sewerage service to new developments.

The relocation of a sewer line to accommodate the expansion of the runway at South Alabama Regional Airport.

Williams also recommended that board members not accept the annual audit currently being conducted by Carr, Riggs and Ingram.

Board chairman Earl Johnson asked, “Have you seen the audit, Mr. Williams?”

When Williams responded that he had not, Johnson asked, “Then how could you recommend that it be rejected?”

Williams cited previous audit recommendations and limited input from Utilities Board personnel.

Board members agreed that the previous and current auditors would meet with board representatives to answer questions before the audit was presented.

Williams is leaving to accept a job as manager of Lamar Electric Cooperative in Paris, Texas. The board asked for a written report of ongoing projects when they accepted his resignation earlier this month. His last day on the job here will be March 24.