Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Water District looks at cost of production numbers

J-E News Editor
Webster County Water District continues to beat 2013 production numbers. Production has been higher in five of the first six months of the year. The lone drop in production came in April, where production dipped only 193,725 gallons lower than the same period last year.

“I hope we can continue in that respect,” district superintendent Paul Lashbrook told the board on Thursday. “The coal mines were on vacation the last week of June and the first week of July and that affects our water usage.”
June 2014 was only slightly higher than June of 2013. Production for the month came in at 978,000 gallons more that last year, for a total of 29,948,000 gallons.
Since the first of the year water district personnel have been working to put together their own cost of service research. Later this summer they plan to hand that data over to a team that will produce an official report.
While the district has been compiling this data, they have also been working to cut costs. Since January the cost per thousand gallons of water produced has dropped from $2.149 to $1.735.
“All we can really contribute that to is the heat at our pump stations and facilities during January and February,” said Lashbrook. “We don’t have to keep those locations toasty warm, but we do have to keep them from freezing.”
That is reflected in the electric cost the district paid through the first half of the year. In January the utility bill was for $17,927, but in May, the last month reported on the study, that bill was only $7,422.
In other business, the district board voted to renew their property and casualty insurance for the next fiscal year. Despite vandalism at the water intact near Sebree, which resulted in a $17,000 claim, their insurance rates went down. The district had budgeted $33,000 for insurance, but all they will have to pay is $26,000.
The water district has received shipment of it’s new pickup truck, a 2014 Dodge.
“We have to get decals, lights, a bed liner and the equipment moved over from the old truck, and then we can declare the old one surplus and put it up for sale,” Lashbrook said.
The ‘old’ truck is a 2006 Chevy pickup with 120,000 miles.
“The driver’s side seat is a little worn, but that is the only thing wrong with it.”

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