published Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Dayton postpones action on expanding water plant

By Tom Davis/Correspondent
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DAYTON, Tenn. — Dayton needs to increase its water treatment capacity, but City Council members have postponed taking action pending a discussion of engineers' fees for the project.

"Sales are up. Usage is up," City Manager Frank Welch told councilmen this week. "We need to enter into an agreement to move forward with an upgrade [to the present plant] or to build a new plant."

Councilman Steve Randolph responded, "We're going to have to do it; I'm for it. But I need to talk with [engineer Roy Wauford] about his fees."

Wauford has designed most of the city's water and sewer projects for some 30 years.

Welch acknowledged that the city is "looking at a bunch of money" in engineering fees for a project estimated to cost $15 million. But he pointed out that Wauford is intimately familiar with the city and its infrastructure and has proven his ability.

"We're at the point that, to serve our customers, we need a new plant," he said.

Randolph offered to contact Wauford to discuss his concerns, while pointing out that "I don't have any complaint at all" about Wauford's services.

At the same time, the council authorized Welch to begin a study to upgrade or replace the booster pumping station that supplies customers in the New Harmony section of Walden's Ridge. He noted that in the past six months, a majority of new water connections have been made in that area.

In other matters, the council approved on final reading a 47 cents per $100 of assessed valuation property tax rate for the new fiscal year, unchanged from 2010-11.

Members also authorized City Attorney Susan Arnold to prepare a contract with Bryan College to provide a police officer for the college for 40 hours per week during the academic year.

Tom Davis is based in Dayton. Email him at tsdavis@volstate.net.

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