City to decide on water management agreement
Boonville City Administrator Irl Tessendorfanswered some questions regarding the possible management agreement of the Boonville water treatment facilities between the city and Alliance Water Resources based in Columbia. The Boonville City Council will vote on this move at the next council meeting on June 3.
Can you explain what the difference is between a management agreement and other possible strategies like leasing are?
The goal at the water plant is to achieve a higher level of capacity in the operation of the plant via a “service agreement” than the city has been able to consistently achieve using an employee model. The plant operation has become increasingly complex resulting from greater regulations and technological advances. The need then was for much greater technical knowledge, academic qualifications, field training and experience. Alliance has these levels of skills and experience as well as general managerial skills. So the goal again is to avail ourselves to these skills etc. The plant itself is city owned and will remain that way.
What sort of oversight will the city have on Alliance as far as operations?
Alliance will be responsible for the day-to-day plant operation. They report daily to the director of public works and at least weekly to the city administrator.
Will there be any control by the city on water prices?
The city retains full control of water rates. Alliance has no role in rate setting or any other policy matters.
What will the cost savings be for the city?
Although the cost savings are now projected at about $30,000 per year in avoided consulting engineer costs, the real motive was to gain the added skill, knowledge, experience for the operation of the plant. For instance, Alliance has three licensed engineers on staff available for consultation. We will achieve this materially higher level of capacity at the plant without a cost increase.
What will be the largest impact the consumer will see?
The normal water consumer in Boonville will NOT see any impact of the changeover.
Can the city end the agreement if it becomes unsatisfactory?
The initial term is three years with provisions for termination prior for cause.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Alliance already works for the city in the role of “back-up” operator filling in whenever our one adequately licensed operator is unavailable. Alliance operates plants for the City of Nevada, St. Charles County, Cape Girardeau, Bowling Green, Bonne Terre, Jackson, St. Genevieve and Henry County Water District.