Madison County’s newest water system tank is now “in the air” next to EMS Station 1 on Hwy. 98 West. The tank is expected to be in service by April, Industrial Authority utility director Steve Shaw said. This tank joins the Madico Park, Hull-Sanford, and Hwy. 72 water towers.

Shaw said construction should be finished at the tank site in a week and that bids for painting the tank will be opened on Feb. 10. The tank project is expected to come in at approximately $400,000 when complete, Shaw noted, more than $200,000 less than if a new tank had been purchased.

The tank was moved from Center after Jackson County declared it surplus property and sold it for $10. Stacy Jenkins, water service manager for the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority, said the tank has a 250,000-gallon capacity.

Executive director Marvin White said the tank is in great shape.

In other business, the IDA agreed Monday night to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the board of commissioners for the services of an in-house engineer, if the county agrees to hire one.

The IDA estimated Monday night that it has spent between $200,000 - $250,000 per year on engineering services – money, it says could better be spent laying water and sewer lines.

White said the county and IDA should look to sharing the services, and the salary, of a county engineer.

Chairman Bruce Azevedo said it is important that the IDA continuously look for ways to save money.

“We need to look at everything as we continue to grow,” Azevedo said. “And engineering costs are getting out of control.”

BOC chairman Anthony Dove, also an ex-officio member of the IDA board, said the BOC had appeared receptive to the idea of hiring and sharing the services of a county engineer. And he pointed out that the BOC has also had to spend money for engineering work by outside firms.

Dove agreed to put the matter on an upcoming BOC agenda for further discussion.

In other business, the IDA heard from utility director Steve Shaw that the water authority billed 592 customers for December, with a water use of 3.25 million gallons. Shaw also reported that water line installation along Hwy. 29 South is almost complete, with only 4,000 feet left to install. He estimated that the job should be finished in less than two weeks.

The EPD has approved a discharge permit for the Hull-Sanford sewer project, executive director Marvin White said, adding that they hope to be able to bid the project following the anticipated approval of GEFA loan funds on Jan. 27.

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