TAR HEEL— Folks in the town of Tar Heel got to hear from members of the Tar Heel Water Corp. on Thursday night about the reasons the board of directors are seeking to have the county take over its water system.
Tar Heel Water Corp. President Phil Allen said the majority of the folks in attendance at the meeting seemed to understand the need for help from the county.
“It (the meeting) was basically an information session to explain to the citizens and members what is going on,” said Allen.
He said the water corporation board was unable to make any costly repairs without a significant increase in the water rates. Allen said that the Water corporation is faced with making some very costly repairs to a tank that was recently found to have a leak. The estimated cost of the repairs for the tank is between $25,000 and $27,000. The town has two tanks, and if a crisis were to hit while one tank was already being repaired for any reason, the town could potentially be without water temporarily.
He said the water corporation has tried to keeps rates for water low for a long time and now the corporation has not built up a large enough of a financial reserve for that type of emergency.
“We basically came to an agreement that we had been too good to ourselves for too long,” said Allen. “We are a private organization and we can’t depend on federal government or the town. We have to depend on the county to help us.”
He added the county had been more than willing to offer assistance and expertise in the past when it was requested and this time has been no different.
“We were one well away from being without water if a major problem occurs,” said Allen. “They (the county) have the high-rise tank above us and one below us. They’ve got the infrastructure in place and we don’t.”
Allen said the county has already agreed to an emergency hook up and he has plans to meet with the county commissioners again to learn what their decision will be on whether or not to take over the Tar Heel Water Corp. system.
County commissioners expect to discuss and perhaps make a decision about the request at their Nov. 13 meeting.