CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale heard the state of their water finances and about the benefits of selling the town's water to an outside company in a special town council meeting Tuesday evening.
James Treat from O.W. Krohn & Associates is the town's financial advisor. He reported to the council how chemical costs have gone up nearly $50,000 mostly due to sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide is used as a softener for the water.
"There are very few water utilities that currently soften their water, especially to this extent," Treat said and an official from American Water agreed.
Cloverdale currently softens its water to the extent a home would. At a cost of $3.87/gal. and use 19,000 gallons a year, Cloverdale spends near $77,000 for sodium hydroxide alone. The cost to run the utility in 2007 was around $38,000, but if trends continue, 2008 will be nearly $86,000, according to Treat.
One way to lower the costs would be to lower the use of sodium hydroxide or abstain from using it at all. Councilman Dennis Padgett suggested they take a look into both options.
Also present at the special meeting were two officials from American Water.
By request of town council President Don Sublett, the officials gave a 20-minute presentation about the benefits of selling the town's water utility. They began by stating how Russellville and nearby Waveland are in negotiations to sell their utilities as well.
"With a town this size, the utility could be appraised around two million dollars," said Jeff Henson of American Water. "The town could use that money to pay off debts or use it for whatever else the town deems necessary."
No decisions were made at this meeting on the future of the water utility. The only thing decided upon at the meeting was to check into lowering the levels of sodium hydroxide.
The next town council meeting is set of Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.