Water treatment plant timeline indicates fluoride could be added by late August

SHERIDAN — Work continues on conventional upgrades to the Sheridan and Big Goose water treatment plants with an estimated completion date of October 2014.

Sheridan Area Water Supply Joint Powers Board Project Manager Dan Coughlin gave the board a memo at its meeting Wednesday that outlined a time frame for major components of the upgrade. Highlights include:

• Mid-April: Upgrades to an old generator at the Sheridan Water Treatment Plant

• Early June: Installation of a rapid mix system at both plants to improve mixing of treatment chemicals with raw water

• Late August: Addition of new equipment at both plants to add fluoride to the water

• October: Addition of new main filters at both plants

Coughlin said that upgrading the main filters must wait until fall when water demand is lower than mid-summer.

The memo also stated there have been discussions about completing the fluoride upgrades sooner than August.

This will allow time to complete the filter work once water demand drops.

Calls to city staff to determine when the city expects to finish upgrades to add fluoride to the water were not immediately returned. Coughlin said the addition of fluoride was a city project and that SAWS is not responsible and will not be billed for those upgrades.

In other business, Certified Public Accountant Tracey Jelly gave a report about the audit of SAWS financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, completed by Dooley and Jelly, CPAs, out of Buffalo.

Jelly noted that SAWS has an operating income of approximately $82,000. He then said the audit found two errors in reporting.

The first error occurred when SAWS did not record transactions related to construction projects that are shared by SAWS and the city of Sheridan.

“We have some projects — specifically the project to upgrade the two water treatment plant systems — being handled by the city, which means that they handle the accounting for it, as well. We were assuming that we would just wait until the end of the project and do the adjustments, but our auditor has told us, ‘You need to do it each fiscal year. Whatever has happened through that fiscal year, you have to book it then,’” Coughlin said. “That’s the adjustments that we made this year. We made the wrong assumption of when it had to be done.”

Coughlin said the adjustments won’t change the financial picture for SAWS.

“It just means you have to have that done at the end of each fiscal year for that portion that occurred during that year. So if you had a project that ran for three years, you’d have three different accountings for it,” Coughlin said.

The second error occurred when financial transactions for upgrades to booster stations were incorrectly recorded on financial statements.

Jelly said both issues have been resolved and that the audit was positive otherwise.

The SAWS board also voted to approve the first amended application for a water service permit under a new policy it approved last month to allow suspension of payment of minimum base rates for a two year period with either connection to the water tap or loss of the water tap at the end of the two years.

With the policy change, customers who meet the qualifications — who have not connected to the system but have paid the minimum base rate since Sept. 1, 1994 — will be treated like new SAWS customers and will have two years to either connect or give up their tap.

 

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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