During open forum, on October 22, in a regular scheduled City Council Meeting, Mark McNally addressed the Board of Alderman concerning options the City could consider to provide safe water by becoming a member of the Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission. McNally gave a detailed presentation which included overall cost, savings to the City and an estimate of profit the City could have to use for sewer improvements and how the commission worked. McNally stated, “I do want the City of Monroe City to understand they do have options to have safe drinking water.”
McNally explained in order for Monroe City to become a member and be able to start using Clarence Cannon Water, the process would take approximately one-year to complete and be ready to deliver water. McNally shared, “The project would cost the City zero dollars.” He discussed how this 1.9-million-dollar project could be completed with bonds, a loan from the Department of Natural Resources and grants to reduce the cost, but would want the City’s help in getting the easements approved.
McNally based his figures on the current water needs of the City using 330,000 gallons per day. Clarence Cannon Water would sell the water to the City at a wholesale rate and then Monroe City would retail it to the citizens. McNally stated, “Clarence Cannon Water Wholesale currently provides water to 14 cities and 9 public water suppliers.”
McNally explained to the council members, stating, “If Monroe City chose to become a member, the City could actually profit an estimated $265,000 after costs each year, which could be used for maintenance for water tanks, distribution costs, employees or sewer system improvements, (which is legal to do).”
Later in the presentation, citizens in attendance had questions concerning the PeopleServices Inc. contract asking if there could be a breach of contract, because they were unable to provide the City with safe water. City Attorney Michael Williams explained there were many factors to consider in the contract concerning these issues, Williams stated, “The problem is not necessarily an issue with PeopleServices, the issue is not a process issue, but a source issue.” The discussion included water sources of Route J Lake, which Monroe City currently uses, verses Mark Twain Lake, which Cannon Water Wholesale uses and the differences in the bodies of water. PeopleServices Manager George Hausdorf shared, “This is why we are wanting to have the engineering study done, so that we can improve the process of the source water.” The engineer study, which was approved later in the meeting, will be done by Black & Veatch, of Chesterfield, costing the City approximately $25-30,000.
The discussion went on between McNally, the council members and citizens for 45 minutes. To view the live coverage of the meeting visit The Lake Gazette Facebook page to watch.