Drive-Thru Coming Soon!
March 19, 2020
Remodel of the RCWSC office should be finished by the end of April 2020. Our general manager shares more...
I would like to share an update about the water company and system operations. I will also discuss some changes that are coming. First and foremost, I would like to express that the board of directors and our staff are obligated to be good stewards of the finances for the members of the system. This is not something that is taken lightly.
Six years ago, we realized that we were totally out of space in our office. Record retention requirements and increased staff created several challenges as we continued to grow. At that point the board started reviewing plans to increase the size of our office space to accommodate our current needs as well as for the needs of the future. The decision was made to add on to the current building and remodel the existing space to make it more functional for both the members and employees. The money was saved for this project and no loans were obtained. Also, rates were not increased to cover any of these savings. Safety for the members has been a primary concern and for that we added a drive-thru feature that will allow more convenience in making payments. Within the drive-thru window there is a night drop slot for the added convenience of making payments after normal business hours. These are also safety features for our office staff who are the most vulnerable to people that have bad intentions.
We had obtained bids for the project and selected a contractor to perform the work. The work started in November of 2019. Currently we are housed in the new addition while the original space is being remodeled. I can assure you that we planned this out with the future in mind and this structure should still be functional in its current state for at least 30 to 50 years. It was constructed with quality and with quality materials. The facility should be finished by the end of April 2020 featuring a paved drive and parking area so there are no loose rocks to trip over or mud puddles to walk through.
We appreciate the patience of the members who have been willing to tough through some of the construction phase when it wasn’t as convenient for them as it was before. I personally am grateful for the staff of RCWSC for the dedication during this time to roll with situations and make the best of it while doing everything we can to accommodate members.
You may or may not be aware of the growth in our area. We receive many inquiries about multiple lot tracts for home sites. There have been two developments come through and infrastructure has been extended to accommodate these lots. There are several others that are being looked at and worked on, which will help the system grow. Much like the power company, the more members we have the lower we can keep rates. In 2018 the board approved an equity buy-in fee to pay for the costs of capacity requirements for new growth. As explained when it was imposed, the fee is to have the new members buy in to the system membership and be at parity with the current members. This keeps our monthly minimum rate stable. If this fee had not been put in place, one of two things would have happened…either we would have totally stopped adding new meters, or we would have substantially increased monthly rates. It is of the opinion of the board that new members to the system should pay for the costs of increasing capacity to serve them, and not the members that have already paid their part. We have not had a monthly rate increase since 2015.
Our staff is currently working on replacing lines in areas that have had pressure-related issues in the past or are problematic due to aging. We continue to add control valves at road intersections and other key areas within the system to allow greater efficiency during outages and extensions. We also continue to change out flush valves throughout the system to enable a more efficient flushing procedure. Our engineers are actively working to secure the USDA-RD loan approval and funding so that we can begin building a new plant location. Plans are in development to install elevated storage tanks that will help conserve electricity costs and keep us in compliance with TCEQ for many years as far as capacity requirements.
If you ever have any questions or concerns, please contact our office and I will be glad to speak with you about them.