Making a difference

Customers help small utility company give back to community

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 11/14/18

ELSANOR, Alabama — Thanks to the generosity of its customers, a small Baldwin County utilities company has been able to give back to its communities in a big way over the past two years.

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Making a difference

Customers help small utility company give back to community

Posted

ELSANOR, Alabama — Thanks to the generosity of its customers, a small Baldwin County utilities company has been able to give back to its communities in a big way over the past two years.

The East Central Baldwin County Water Sewer and Fire Protection Authority implemented it’s “Program Changeup” in 2016, which allows customers the option of rounding up the amount on their utility bill.

Initially incorporated as the Rosinton Water and Fire Protection Authority in 1987 in order to qualify for USDA Rural Development funds to build the system under a Federal program established to provide clean drinking water to people in rural areas, ECBC now boasts over 2,000 services, with approximately 300 miles of trunk lines. Its sole purpose is to provide water to its customers and the volunteer fire departments within its service area.

ECBC’s service area reaches as far north as I-65 as far south as Elberta and to the Florida line on the east side.

ECBC, which changed to its current name in 2008, was built in three phases, beginning with the construction of the facilities on County Road 87, just off of U.S. 90 in the Elsanor community.

A minimum of 1,000 customer sign-ups were required for Phase I in order to qualify for Federal funds,” said ECBC General Manager Ryan Frolik. Phase 2 included a second water tower, well and treatment facility on County Road 64 in the Rosinton community, with Phase 3 adding an additional 1,000 services.

Through these services, ECBC has approximately 2,500 services in the ground, with over 1,700 active customers at the present time.

This public corporation functions as a non-profit water authority and is run by a Board of Directors, with a staff of six employees, including office staff and field/maintenance personnel.

Through “Program Changeup” ECBC generates approximately $500 per month.

Over the last two years, funds raised through the program have been used to buy clothing and other supplies for Elsanor and Rosinton schools. ECBC has also worked with Catholic Social Services to provide support for the Project Reach backpack program and recently donated $2,400 to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Boys Ranch.

“The program has been a great success,” Frolik said, “and it’s all due to the generosity of our customers. None of this would have been possible without them.”