Cedar Key Water and Sewer District Update

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By The Staff

 New Commissioner Selected

At the District Board’s regular meeting in August, Lia King informed the board that she and her husband, Joe Hatten, would be leaving Cedar Key and that she would therefore have to resign her position on the Board. Needless to say, the Board was sorry to hear this news, as Lia has been an excellent and knowledgeable member of the Board for many years. According to the District’s charter, it is up to the remaining four members to fill a vacancy on the Board. At a special meeting held on August 24, the Board considered three applicants, David Beach, Michael Day, and Jan Allen, and voted unanimously to select David Beach to fill the remainder of Ms. Lia’s term. Mr. Beach has extensive background in utility design and contracting, and will be a real asset serving on the Board.

District Receives Award

On August 11 the District was named the “Small Wastewater System of the Year” by the Florida Rural Water Association. The award recognizes the District’s successful operation of a wastewater system that serves the District’s customers while protecting the area’s fragile aquatic resources.

New Rate Structure

On August 1 a new rate structure and revised rates went into effect for customers of the District. The new rate structure is designed to encourage conservation of water, and provide a modest increase in revenues to the District. Under the old rate structure, 3000 gallons of water were included within the base rate for residential customers. Thus, it did not matter whether a customer used 500 gallons, or 2,500 gallons, the charge to the customer was the same. In other words, there was no incentive to save water so long as the customer’s usage stayed below 3,000 gallons.

Under the new rate structure, there is still a base rate, but the customer is billed for each gallon of water used, with that usage charge added to the base rate. Under this structure, a customer who uses 500 gallons of water will be billed less than the customer who uses 2,500 gallons of water, thus providing an incentive for conservation.

New Airport Water Line Completed

The District has completed the new water line running out to Piney Point, and all residences along the new water line have been connected. New fire hydrants were installed as part of this project, so that a hydrant is now within 500 feet of all property lines. Levy County has finished its contribution to the project by repairing the roadways that were cut to lay the new pipe. The first part of this project was the installation of a new water line across Goose Cove, which work was funded by the Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency.

Downtown System Improvements

The District, the City of Cedar Key, and the Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) are all cooperating to make street and utility improvements in the downtown area. Funding for this work is being provided primarily by the Community Redevelopment Agency. The project will involve the re-paving of many streets within the historic downtown area, and the upgrading of all utilities where needed under the streets that will be re-paved. Of particular importance will be the re-paving of the commercial portion of 2nd Street, and the upgrade of all utilities underneath that portion of the street. It is anticipated that all this work will go out to bid later this year.

Expanded Distribution of Reclaimed Water

In another cooperative effort, the District, the CedarKey Community Redevelopment Agency, the City of Cedar Key, and the Suwannee River Water Management District contributed towards the installation of pumps and holding tanks that will allow for irrigation of the City Park and other downtown landscaping with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is the highly treated effluent from the District’s downtown wastewater treatment plant.

The Water Management District contributed $40,000 in cash towards this work; the Community Redevelopment Agency provided $13,000 in matching funds; the City contributed the land and other services; and the Water and Sewer District provided the machinery and labor for installation of the new tanks and pumps. The system is now operational and the City Park and Marina landscaping are being watered with environmentally-friendly reclaimed water.

District Website

Please go to the District’s website: ckwater.org, where you will find additional information about the District.