Appointment of a new member to the Fannin County Water Authority invoked an unexpected reaction from Fannin County citizen Joe Webb at the latest Board of Commissioners meeting. Mr. Webb asked the Commissioners to speak out-of-order. Mr. Webb brought up several topics about the Authority including irregular financing, potential SLOPST funding and authority appointment processes.
Mr. Webb said that Water Authority has not correctly accounted for its revenue streams and refered to its 2012 and 2015 audits. He also said that Water Authority use of funds must be clear since the Water Authority will be asking for more financing on the SPLOST 2016 November ballot.
FetchYourNews.com asked Water Authority Chairman Stan Helton to respond to Mr. Webb’s comments. Mr. Helton said that Mr. Webb’s comments about the co-mingling of SPLOST funds with other revenue streams is completely false. After receiving its first few customers in 2014, the audits clearly show separate and segregated funds. Mr. Helton referred FetchYourNews.com to the Water Authority’s 2015 audit, which is viewable on its website. The auditors did not find mis-use or co-mingling of funds. They did though recognize one deficiency because the Water Authority only has one employee. Mr. Helton states that there are also CPAs on the Water Authority.
At this time, the Water Authority has a customer base of approximately 280. The Water Authority must have a customer base of 1,000 before it becomes profitable and not need to be helped by the county at-large. This means that, in all likelihood, the Water Authority will be among the groups requesting money for infrastructure development on the 2016 SPLOST ballot.
The majority of Mr. Webb’s other remarks centered on the appointment process to different authorities. He would like the process to be more open to the general public. Even though Mr. Webb did not know the qualifications of the individual appointed to the Water Authority, Mr. Webb stated that there are several people in the community that would serve well in the position.
The Commissioners appointed Larry Chapman to the Water Authority. Mr. Chapman is a Georgia-licensed engineer with 46 years of engineering experience in wastewater treatment and distribution. Mr. Chapman thinks he is the first person with wastewater engineering background that has been appointed to the Water Authority.
Mr. Chapman and his wife moved from Atlanta to Blue Ridge in 1997. They live in the south of Fannin County, along the Aska Road area.
See Related Post: Fannin County Board of Commissioners meeting 03/22/16
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