Fixing our water issues

New Albany has adopted a plan to begin dealing with the most pressing issues with the city’s water system.

The Board of Aldermen has voted to move ahead with a plan, developed by New Albany Light, Gas & Water, to add two production wells, improve water pressure on the east side of the city, and begin replacing 100-year-old pipes in the historic north-side district.
Bill Mattox, manager of the utility, said the project, which will cost nearly $3 million, will be financed through a low-interest loan from the Mississippi Rural Development Association.
Repayment of the loan will require a water rate increase of 3 to 5 percent, beginning in 2014, he said. Rates likely increase each year after that to pay for continuing improvements to the New Albany system.
Two new production wells will provide more than adequate capacity for expected residential, business and industrial growth, he said.
On the east side, a 250,000-gallon elevated storage tank will be added, as well as a pumping station will be constructed to increase water pressure and provide adequate pressure to fight fires, he said.
The city also will embark on a small pipe replacement program, but the majority of pipe replacement will come in future years, he said.
We continue to be impressed with Mattox’s no-nonsense attitude toward sorting out New Albany’s water problems and providing solutions. His leadership has gotten the city moving on these long-standing problems.
We remain confident that residents understand – and support – the plan to fix our water system, even if it means an increase in the rates.