The Liberty County Development Authority took care of housekeeping items Monday, discussing the search for a consultant to analyze water and sewer rates and a request for a road dedication among various project updates and reports.
The LCDA and the city of Midway met last month to discuss how water and sewer rates and connection fees are calculated. The two governmental entities asked their engineers to find and agree upon a third-party consultant to conduct a water and sewer rate analysis so the authority and the city could resolve billing issues.
The city and development authority have an intergovernmental agreement to share water and sewer infrastructure. The authority operates an industrial park in Midway and the Tradeport East Business Park adjoining Midway’s city limits.
P.C. Simonton & Associates engineer Marcus Sack recommended the two groups hire Lex Warmath, vice president of Raftelis Financial Consultants Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C.
Midway’s engineer has proposed hiring Arnold Ellison Jr. to perform the rate study, according to Sack.
Warmath would charge a minimum of $5,500 for his consulting fees, Sack said. He told the authority he has not yet received a comparative consultant fee estimate from Midway’s engineer.
Authority member and state Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, said the LCDA has in the past picked up the full cost for similar studies.
“Not only have we stepped to the plate, we’ve carried the whole ball,” Williams said.
The authority board said once it receives a fee estimate from Midway’s proposed consultant, it would move forward on contracting an expert to do the rate study.
FLOQUIP, a subsidiary of SNF, requested that the authority consider dedicating a road in the industrial park to the company.
LCDA CEO Ron Tolley said the company wants exclusive control of the property so it can secure it with a gate. The problem, Tolley said, is if the cul-de-sac at the end of the road is blocked off, trucks would not be able to turn around should they head down that road.
County Attorney Kelly Davis said the authority can require the company to create a replacement cul-de-sac in front of the proposed gate and grant the LCDA easements for utilities.
No action was taken on the request. Authority members said they want to review draft plans from the company regarding any proposed changes FLOQUIP would make to the road prior to approving a road dedication.
Authority Chairman Allen Brown was appointed to serve on a newly formed retail-strategies advisory board. The board is made up of funding partners who have committed money toward contracting a consulting firm, Retail Strategies of Birmingham, Ala., to market Liberty County and its cities to retailers and restaurateurs.