Members of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority got a wake-up call last Thursday about major costs over the upcoming years for capital improvements at the Bear Creek Reservoir.
Manager Eric Klerk briefed the authority on the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority’s capital funding plan, which includes a new monthly assessment to cover authority-owned items and projected dates and costs for replacement of equipment owned solely by Jackson County.
Through 2030, Klerk demonstrated, the authority must come up with over $5 million — just related to the Bear Creek Reservoir and water treatment plant and not including capital needs for its own operations.
In a related move Thursday, the authority voted to spend $5,850 for a rate analysis by Cybergov Consultants. The Bear Creek costs will be a part of the analysis, which means that future rates will likely be adjusted to start collecting money for those anticipated expenses.
As of Jan. 1, the basin group began billing Jackson County an additional $3,703 monthly for maintenance and operations; that figure will climb to $9,243 a month starting next Jan. 1 and is projected to continue through 2030, by which time Jackson County will have spent $1,819,092 to help the regional water authority fund its projected capital needs.