WATER UPDATE 8/14/2019

WEST PULASKI PUBLIC WATER AUTHORITY 

Dear Residents, 

We would like to provide an update on recent progress in securing financing for the long-planned water project to serve western Pulaski County. 

At the request of WPPWA, Central Arkansas Water (CAW) has revised its Master Plan for extension of water into west Pulaski County to allow smaller diameter pipes and alternate pipe materials to help lower the project cost. CAW has also offered to contribute to the cost of the project in the amount of $1.8 million and also to (a) provide loan financing for the balance of project cost through the issuance of public utility revenue bonds and (b) provide the administrative services required to implement and manage the project. Currently, CAW is working to develop an agreement to enter into with WPPWA to reflect these arrangements. 

The WPPWA has executed engineering contracts with Dean Engineering Company, LLC and Halff & Marlar Engineering to produce construction plans and specifications for soliciting competitive public bids for the construction work. Concurrent with the construction plan and specification development, the engineering firms will also be preparing easement documents for locations where landowner agreements are needed to install water lines. 

Firm schedules for the construction work have not been established but initial work is planned to begin at the intersection of Stewart Road and Burlingame and proceed to Ferndale center and then along Kanis Road west of Ferndale to the county line. Initial work is also expected to begin on the north end of Ferndale Cutoff Road at the Little Maumelle River bridge crossing and run south along the Cutoff Road to Studer Road and into Studer Valley. Additional branch lines will be installed as these main lines are made operational. The project involves approximately 58 miles of water piping and may require 3 to 4 years to fully complete depending on seasonal weather conditions and the number of construction contracts let. 

The WPPWA currently has 508 customers signed up for service. According to our research of property ownership, there are an estimated 363 unsubscribed residential addresses for a total residential customer potential of 871 homes. This number does not include non-residential customers such as the 4-H Center, businesses, or the Presbyterian Church Camp. 

The majority of the unsubscribed residential addresses are on the northern end of Garrison Road, along Kanis Road west of Ferndale, and in the quadrant of Pulaski County extending from Kanis Road northeasterly to Garrison Road. 

The majority of the subscribed customers reside in the areas east of Ferndale along Burlingame and Kanis Roads as well in the Ferndale Road corridor north of Ferndale including the Studer Road, Dixie-Colvert Road, and Ridgefield neighborhoods. 

When CAW has finalized the necessary cooperative agreement with the Authority, a public meeting will be scheduled at the Arkansas 4-H Center. CAW engineering and management personnel will participate in this informational meeting. It is hoped that the public meeting will not only serve to further inform the customer base but will also serve to stimulate additional service signups. 

When a date and time for this meeting has been set, a notice of the meeting will be posted on the West Pulaski Public Water Authority facebook page. Subscribers are urged to check the WPPWA facebook page from time to time to follow progress on additional signups, possible hookup cost assistance for low-income subscribers, and information on project phasing and construction progress. 

The project currently has an approximate 60% subscription rate but the ultimate goal is for 90% or better in order to reduce the monthly customer cost to as low a cost as possible. This would mean gaining another 276 subscriptions from among the currently remaining 363 potential customers. A separate mail out is planned to likewise inform the unsubscribed homeowners of recent progress on implementation and encourage new water service signups. 

It is extremely important that customers sign up for water service in order to keep the water rates at a minimum and help make the system affordable. Customers who have signed up will have the cost of installing water service lines from the mains included as part of the construction cost in the contractor’s bid. Customers who desire water, but have not signed up before the construction plans are completed will have to bear the cost of individual service lines being installed from the main to their property. Signing up early can alleviate significant individual expense for service line installation from the main to the property line. 

It is expected that the water project will encourage rural residential development in the service area. Growth in the service population will allow the Authority to lower the monthly cost for all its customers over time. Equalization of the cost of water service at the lowest possible level is a primary goal of the Authority. 

Sincere thanks are again offered for your patience and confidence in the eventual realization of public water service through the implementation of this large, complex water supply project. 

WEST PULASKI PUBLIC WATER AUTHORITY 

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Water Update 5/2/2019

 Your Water Authority Board continues to make great strides toward the dirt starting to be turned.   We are nearing the end of negations with Central Arkansas Water and Arkansas Natural Resources Commission relative to funds; responsibilities of each entity, etc.   We are being told that our number of customers with deposits in place needs to continue to increase.  I would encourage those who haven’t yet sent your $75 deposit and signed contract (found on the website) to get those sent in.   Mail them to: WPPWA, 24710 KANIS RD. LRA, 72223.  Thank you all again for your patience and understanding as your Board works hard toward our ultimate goal of turning on the tap for city water!
Thank you!
Elaine Jones

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Water Update 3/8/2019

Water Update 3/8/2019

Update on Status of the work of WPPWA (West Pulaski Public Water Authority)

The Water Board met Thursday, February 28 to discuss the upcoming meeting with ANRC (Arkansas Natural Resources Commission).  We are on the agenda for March 20 at 9:00 at the offices of ANRC on East Capitol Street.  In the event our presentation is taken off the agenda, the next meeting is in May.

Our application has been completed by our engineers, Bill Dean and Mike Marlar and is in the hands of ANRC for review.     This application becomes a part of the overall presentation.   Once we receive approval, the process of obtaining financing can begin.   Some of the necessary funds are provided by CAW (Central Arkansas Water) and some from ANRC.     The current estimate of the entire project is approximately $17 million dollars.   The project covers an area with tie on points at Stewart and Burlingame and a point south of Highway 10 on Ferndale Cutoff.   The lines will be laid the length of Burlingame Road; the length of Walnut Grove Road from Burlingame to Kanis and to those applicants on Walnut Grove on the other side of Kanis that aren’t already supplied.   The line will continue from Walnut Grove west on Kanis through the 4-Way to the Saline/Pulaski County line.   At the 4-Way, the line will run south to the 4-H Center and north to the tie-on point south of Highway 10.  The other roads which have applications in place will also receive service.  These would include the Roberts Rd area, Garrison Road, Studer Rd., Bandy Rd., Carnation Rd., etc.    Eventually, our project will be joined to the Paron Water Project, which is also a CAW supplier of water.

We have gathered deposits and applications for some time now.  Those funds are deposited in an Escrow Account for the WPPWA.    Each customers’ bill will include a debt reduction amount along with the charge for water usage.    The debt reduction amount is directly affected by the overall number of applications that we receive.  The more water users there are, the less each user’s share of the debt reduction will be.   It is imperative for those property owners who have not yet sent an application and deposit to do so right away.  Currently the residential deposit amount is $75.00   However, the Water Board will soon have to establish a cutoff date, at which time the deposit amount will be increased.   The date and the amount are at the discretion of the Board.

Thank you all for your participation and patience on this project.

West Pulaski Public Water Authority

Elaine K. Jones

Secretary/Treasurer

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Update Sept 10, 2018

September 10, 2018

Dear Ferndale Neighbors,

We are very excited that the opportunity to provide safe drinking water has presented itself once again. Your Water Board has been working on this project for many years and hope that with your support we will soon be able to see it to fruition.

The assorted grants and loans we are applying for are driven by the number of signups we can obtain. The public meeting that was held on August 30 resulted in about 40 new applications and deposits being received. One of the first questions we must answer when applying for a grant or loan is “How many customers can you show are interested in this project?” They compare that number with the total number of households to determine whether we qualify and if so, the amount of the grant or loan. We encourage you to complete your application and mail it with your check today!

We have received many questions about the project and will do everything possible to answer them to the very best of our ability. One of the first things to reiterate is that participation in the project is voluntary. No property owner will be required to sign up. We have been asked many times what the monthly cost will be. An answer to that question won’t be available until all the numbers are in. Those numbers include: number of sign-ups; total dollar value of grants which will affect the total dollar amount of funds we must borrow. The amount of grants and loans we’ll need can’t be determined until the engineers have completed their work to produce a project total. With a project of this magnitude, their work will take a while. However, while they are creating the plans and specifications, we will continue to apply for all sorts of grants that are available to us. There will essentially be two parts to your bill: the water usage and the debt reduction. The water usage will of course be up to you; the debt reduction will depend on how much we borrow, the interest rate we pay, whether the grant money is forgivable or will just have a low interest rate.

Another question that can’t yet be answered is how will your homeowners’ insurance rate be affected? The project will have to be completely operational before ISO issues the new rating figures to our West Pulaski Volunteer Fire Department. The new rating will include the fact that a supply of water is available but will also be based on the equipment used by the department. (This is another very good reason to support the Fire Department’s fund-raising efforts!) Then your insurance agency will calculate your new premium based on the new ISO rating.

Utility easements will be required to lay the pipeline. In most cases the line will be along the dedicated road right of way easement which is probably referred to in your legal description. A utility easement would likely be within the road right of way easement, however if it is not, it will probably run contiguous to the road right of way.

The cost to sign up after the project has begun will be higher. Not as a penalty, but because had we had the sign- ups who choose, for whatever reason, to wait and see, we could possibly have qualified for additional grants and/or lower interest rate loans. The project can’t advance at all if everyone were to choose to wait.

Each property owner will have differing costs to connect to the water source and run a line to their house. Several things come into play, the biggest factor being the distance from the source to the house and after that, the condition of the land, whether it is rocky or has lots of trees. As a homeowner, this cost could come under the category of home improvement and qualify for financing as you would finance a replacement heat and air system.

Your Board is grateful for your patience and understanding as we work for you to complete this task. We are all volunteers and are more disappointed than anyone that it has been such a long road to reach this point. However, are staying positive and look forward to the day we can turn the spigot on for safe drinking water in Ferndale!

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Thank You

Wow! What a great turnout we had tonight. WPPWA really appreciates so many of you in the community and our guest speakers making the time to join us tonight at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. It was a pretty full house and we are so excited about getting a renewed start to our water project. We will be adding some info here as soon as possible.

You can message us here or send your questions to westpulaskiwaterauthority@gmail.com.

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Public Meeting for the Ferndale Water Project – August 30th at 7 p.m.

We hope you will join us at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Thursday, August 30th at 7 P.M.

It has been a while since the last public meeting and we are excited to tell you about some developments that can help us bring water to Ferndale.

We look forward to seeing you!

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

27025 Kanis Road

Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

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WPPWA Is Now On Facebook!

Add WPPA to your Facebook feed now by joining our new Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/FerndaleWater/

 

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Welcome To Our New Website !

West Pulaski Public Water Authority is proud to present our new website. It is a work in progress, so please bear with us as we begin to move information to these pages. We hope to provide a location for information about our effort to bring public water to the Ferndale area. We hope you will check back regularly to see newly added info and updates. Thank you!

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