Eutaw City Council approves agreement for new water operator

At its regular meeting on April 10, 2023, the Eutaw City Council approved an agreement with J&K Water Consultants of Northport, Alabama to serve as water operator for the city. A certified water operator is required by Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and is critically needed as the city moves forward with multi-million-dollar grants to repair and improve the unified Eutaw and Boligee Water System.

Corey Martin, previous certified water operator and IT (computer) specialist with the city resigned and moved on to a position in another city.

Johnathon Nixon, who is a certified water operator, working in Northport will visit the city weekly to monitor wells and tanks, take water samples, assist in repairing water leaks and making monthly reports to ADEM and the city. According to Mayor Johnson, Nixon has roots in Greene County and previously worker for the city, under prior administrations.

J&K Water Consultants will work with existing city staff to maintain the system on a daily basis and be available for leaks and special problems beyond the monthly water sampling and reporting. J&K will be paid $1,500 a
month for their services.

Ralph Liverman presented the Council with a set of documents on the city’s finances that were not reviewed at the meeting. Among the documents was a report for the first six months of the 2022-23 fiscal year, October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.This report covered 19 bank accounts that the city has including the General Fund, Water and Sewer Funds, Capital Improvement, Gas Tax Funds, Municipal Court and COVID Relief.

In a prior council work session, Liverman said that revenues for the first half of the year were meeting budgetary projections. Expenses were running slightly ahead of budget because of clean-up efforts after the November 28, 2022, and January 12, 2023, tornados. The City expects reimbursement from FEMA for most of the clean-up and debris management costs from the January storm, which received a Federal disaster declaration from FEMA, that was not available for the earlier storm.

Liverman also provided the City Council with a copy of a check for $32,880, which was the first disbursement from the State of Alabama for the first phase of the ADEM sponsored water and sewer improvement project. The funds were deposited in a special account as required by ADEM. The City Council agreed to set up two new bank accounts one for the Water Project and one for the Sewer Project at its December meeting. The report shows that the city is in compliance with ADEM requirements on handling funds.

The City Council tabled action on changing and approving the signatories for bank accounts in Merchants and Farmers Bank. The Council also tabled action on a request from Rev. Siegfried Williams, Pastor of Freedom Rock Church in Eutaw, who wanted to purchase some property from the city, since Rev. Williams was not in attendance at the meeting. The City Council did approve payment of bills and claims.

In her Mayor’s Report, Latasha Johnson thanked all of her staff members for their devoted work on behalf of the city. She mentioned that Samuel Braggs, a long-time city employee had passed.

Police Chief Tommy Johnson announced that a First Responders Parade will be held on May 25th. Carrie Logan with the Eutaw Area Chamber of Commerce announced a clean-up day on Saturday, April 22, when volunteers will collect and bag-up trash in the city.

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