With each new source the county secures — the city of Calhoun and a revived Fulton Road well are the latest — that’s less they may buy from the city system. And that means a bigger share of the expense must be borne by the remaining users.
“We’ve lost some of our biggest customers in the last few years, and there are a certain amount of fixed costs we have to cover no matter what,” City Manager John Bennett said. “We’d like to keep them as customers.”
That’s why the city has been willing to renegotiate prices in a 10-year contract that doesn’t expire for another two years. So far, however, county officials have played coy.
The Floyd County Commission awarded a $345,596.93 bid last week to Taylorsville-based T.J. Lyle & Co. to connect the county’s water system to the city of Calhoun’s at Ga. 156. Work is expected to start in mid-January.
County Manager Blaine Williams said Calhoun is offering a fluctuating wholesale water price of as little as $1.40 per 1,000 gallons, with a minimum purchase of 100,000 gallons a day. “We’ll save more than $100,000 a year for the first few years, with potential to save even more,” he told the board.
The current contract with Rome calls for the county to pay $3.14 per 1,000 gallons, but the price would drop to $1.88 per 1,000 with a minimum buy of a million gallons per day. Floyd County also has a contract with Adairsville, at $1.47 per 1,000 gallons, to supplement its groundwater sources.
Questioned later by City Commissioner Bill Irmscher about the big difference in prices, Bennett said the three cities have different kinds of systems.
Adairsville draws from groundwater, which means it doesn’t have Rome’s treatment expense to purify river water. Calhoun, which is trying to replace big industrial customers it lost, doesn’t have a sewer system to fund.
Still, Bennett told Irmscher he’s offered a new contract at $1.40 per 1,000 gallons, “but they’re not willing to guarantee a minimum.”
At a joint services meeting Wednesday he reminded county officials the proposal is still on the table.
County Commission Chairman Irwin Bagwell nodded, saying “we want that to be mutually beneficial.” Negotiations are expected to resume in January.
Floyd County recently installed a membrane filter system on its abandoned Fulton Road well. The new technology appears to have solved the water quality issues, and the revived well could provide as much as 750,000 gallons a day.
Floyd County Water Report
Rome Water Report