Summerdale council to hold off on long-term water system plan

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 7/21/21

SUMMERDALE - During the June meeting, the Summerdale council considered hiring Fabre Engineering and Surveying to create a long-term water system plan. Obtaining a proposal of what the plan would …

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Summerdale council to hold off on long-term water system plan

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SUMMERDALE - During the June meeting, the Summerdale council considered hiring Fabre Engineering and Surveying to create a long-term water system plan. Obtaining a proposal of what the plan would encompass as well as the cost of implementing the plan was free. After reviewing the proposal, the Summerdale council made the decision to hold off on moving forward at this time.

“The quote on the long-range water plan was $24,856,” said Mayor David Wilson. “In this long-range plan, it would orchestrate how the town would move forward with the water system according to growth, rate increases, maintenance schedules, all of that would be included in this systematic plan - it’s also a lot of money. I think the people would be great engineers, but right now I’d like to ask the council to hang back on this, because FEMA has sent back they’re holding back 30 percent of our monies.”

Town Clerk Tiffany Lynn said the 30 percent withholdings is on the town’s category A, or the debris. After receiving word from FEMA, Wilson said he believes the town should hold back from making any major expenditures that aren’t immediately necessary in case another major storm comes to Baldwin County.

“On this FEMA money, we’ll be able to appeal,” Wilson said. “We didn’t do anything wrong, we followed the guidelines, we had the monitors that we paid for who only allowed us to do what would be funded by FEMA, meaning a lot of stuff was left behind, stuff that we felt needed to be done and that we went ahead and paid for. So we put out a lot of money trying to cover the bases that FEMA would not, and we’ve got some projects in town that we want to move forward with, that we need to move forward with, and that we’ll spend a good amount of money on. I just don’t see where we need to spend money on something that can wait, we need to pace ourselves.”

Lynn said town staff is researching possible grants to help fund future projects. She said the town recently received a check from FEMA for $22,000 for category B, or emergency preparations and other reimbursements have been received as well. She said a problem the town is facing is reimbursement on leaners and hangers, or trees or tree limbs hanging or leaning over a right of way or sidewalk that could be potentially dangerous to the public.

“I’ve already talked to Volkert, they said they’re aware of it and have all their documents,” Lynn said. “I know we’re not the only ones having this issue, the county is having it and then some other municipalities as well.”

Lynn said a vote to appeal may potentially be brought before the council at a later date, pending on discussions with FEMA.