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New SGWASA director hears public comments

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BUTNER — New South Granville Water & Sewer Authority executive director Scott Schroyer was welcomed to his new position by a host of public comments from residents during Tuesday’s board meeting.

John Mayo, of Butner, told Schroyer there are two sides to every story and he wanted to share his story about what SGWASA customers are experiencing. He said his home has manganese residue from the water and he has concerns about excessive exposure to it.

Mayo cited a lack of confidence and trust in SGWASA’s ability to deliver a decent product and made two recommendations to Schroyer and the board. He said he would like to see an interactive website that would allow customers to register complaints and offers real-time responses. He added he would like the website to offer more information, such as meeting agendas and minutes. He recommended a customer satisfaction survey and that SGWASA provide a point-of-use filtration system to be maintained by the customer.

Creedmoor resident Curt Klinger wanted to know if Schroyer had been fully vetted by the board. Klinger began to question each board member about Schroyer. SGWASA Chair Edgar Smoak asked Klinger to come in and talk with Schroyer directly during business hours.

Tim Karan said Klinger could call him and they would discuss his concerns.

Joyce Johnson, a Butner resident, addressed her concerns about the higher water bills. She asked if the board knew that Butner’s federal prison was going into water conservation mode and if the board planned for it.

Karan said the board was aware of the change with the prison and explained the board’s decision to raise the rates at once rather than by a little bit over a period of time. Karan said there were other factors that figured into the rate increase, such as the long-term debt acquisition of the Creedmoor system, Falls Lake rules, a $30 million upgrade to the sewer plant and an update to the water plant.

Karan also referenced the closing of Mount Hope and Kayser-Roth in Creedmoor and how the effects were not felt by the customers because SGWASA was a state-owned organization at the time.

Ed Gleason said he was upset that there was already a budget amendment to move money out of the fund balance. Gleason said the board knew about the water saving program at the prison and did nothing to prepare in the 2018-2019 budget. He also noted concerns about SGWASA having to borrow $50 million and referenced the money spent on studies and the water plant upgrade.

Dan Smith spoke on behalf of the owners of 2130 East Lyon Station Road. He said he had two developers sitting in the audience waiting to build on property in SGWASA’s service areas. Smith said the developers would help alleviate some of SGWASA’s financial issues if they are able to get sewer capacity for the 62 acres he would like to get developed.

Smoak asked Smith and the developers to stay until the end of the meeting to meet with Schroyer.

The board approved a budget amendment for $537,228, which reappropriates the remaining contractual amount for the Hazen & Sawyer water plant design and final invoicing for the Coulter Jewell Thames sewer study. Other reappropriations from 2018-2019 fiscal year includes replacing laptops for the executive director and utilities director, rebuilding two finish pumps at the water treatment plant and the boring and tap services related to Fleming Street in Creedmoor.

The SGWASA board also approved the purchase of a vehicle to be used by the executive director for official SGWASA business. The cost of the vehicle is not to exceed $30,000. The vehicle is part of the employment contract dated July 25.

Schroyer told the board that he was reaching out to vendors about upgrading the website and he would update projects for them as soon as possible. After touring the facilities and the service area, Schroyer said he spent some time with the staff and mentioned how they were helpful with his onboarding.

The next SGWASA meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10.