HSV Water and Wastewater Superintendent Proposes Emergency Waterline Connection
At the April 7, 2022, HSVPOA Board Discussion Session, Chris Boutzale, Water & Wastewater Plants Superintendent, discussed an emergency waterline connection proposal. Public Services Director, Jason Temple, was also on hand. As the meeting was a discussion session, no votes were taken.
In case of a catastrophic failure in the HSVPOA water system, there have been plans to connect our water system to North Garland County. Boutzale said, “We are not going to sell water. That’s not part of the deal. It is just to bring water in if we have an emergency.”
“About 20 years ago, we started looking for an outside water source through Lake Ouachita. We belong to MAWA [Mid-Arkansas Water Alliance},” explained Boutzale. At the time the MAWA project began there were only three utilities remaining in the project – Hot Springs Village, North Garland County Water, and Hot Springs Water.”
✱The Hot Springs Village POA pays $47,000 per year for two million gallons of Lake Ouachita water a day, that at the current time, we have no access to. In order to get this water, a pipeline must be built to the Village for supplemental water or alternatively, we can tie into North Garland County and buy the water through them.
In the future, when there is a need to expand the HSV water plant, this water source may be an alternative to expansion.
Director McLeod asked, “We are paying for something now that we are not able to get?”
Boutzale said that we are.
Chair Corry stated, “This is an insurance policy, primarily. Except we are not hooked up to the insurance policy.”
Plans to Connect
Boutzale explained that we propose to tie into North Garland County at this time. “We’ve been planning and working towards this for the last several years. We bought all the materials back in 2019 for this project but didn’t have the money for the installation.” The Superintendent also said they did not have the personnel to do the installation in-house.
The money has been budgeted this year for the project. All bids came in over budget. “The low bid was $133,800.” To reduce this cost, the POA staff will install pipes at the road crossing, which lowers the bid by $21,000. Materials needed to perform this portion of the job will cost around $2,000. POA labor also must be considered in the final cost. Moving all of the materials in-house will result in an additional $2,500 reduction of the bid. These two measures will lower the bid price to $110,300 which is still over budget by $10,300.
There is approximately $21,000 leftover on the Asturias Drive Waterline Project and Boutzale proposes using this overage to pay for the budget shortfall in the Balboa Gate Emergency Waterline Project.
Director McLeod asked if we have had a water system failure in the past and Boutzale stated that we haven’t.
McLeod asked, “Are you forecasting a problem?”
Boutzale said he was not forecasting a problem, but it could happen. For the majority of the last 50 years, there was not anyone to connect to for a backup.
✱ Edited to add: On May 16, 2017, the Sentinel-Record published the following statement: “The Hot Springs Village Property Owners Association has announced that the Village has officially joined the Mid-Arkansas Water Alliance, a coalition of dozens of Central Arkansas municipalities and water utilities committed to meeting the future water supply needs of the region.”
By Cheryl Dowden, Hot Springs Village Gazette, April 7, 2022
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Carroll W. Allison
04/07/2022 — 3:58 pm
Just think, if you had saved the $47,000 for three years, you could afford the installation. How long have we paid this?
Carroll W. Allison
04/07/2022 — 4:10 pm
Looks like $47,000 times 20 years. Just $940,000.00?
04/07/2022 — 11:52 pm
According to the article, I am linking here, we joined MAWA in 2017. https://www.hotsr.com/news/2017/may/16/mawa-partnership-ensures-quality-water-/
Carroll W. Allison
04/08/2022 — 4:35 am
Thanks Cheryl for the additional info. Just five years instead of twenty years. BTW, Thought we got our water from Middle Fork of Saline River. Article says we get it from Mill Creek?
04/08/2022 — 10:34 pm
Quoting “All About Water in Hot Springs Village” from 2006/2009, “Mill Creek channels water through the northern area of the village into Lake Desoto, then through Lake Cortez, and on into the Middle Fork of the Saline River.”
04/08/2022 — 8:51 am
Seems irresponsible to pay $47,000 per year for something we cannot use! Why would we agree to pay for something that is out of reach? I don’t know all the details so I don’t know if we should, or shouldn’t build the access, but if we are liable for $47,000 per year forever, it seems we should at least have access to it!
04/08/2022 — 8:05 am
I’m suspect of this project. There has been for some time now a faction in this Village that wants to sell our water (and sewer) services to the outside world to help improve Village finances or perhaps some other unsaid, perhaps questionable, reason. Of course the Declarations prohibit such actions but this has not deterred the supporters. Once the lines are installed connecting us to outside systems it is then an easy switch to allow flow OUT of the village as well as IN in “an emergency”.
I should also point out that some years ago there was a connection made to allow us to supply the Peron community when they have an emergency. Not sure it was ever used but supporters of this project use that as a precedent. Fact is that HSV never gets any outside help for anything from anybody, city, county or whatever.
04/09/2022 — 2:18 pm
I too am suspect of this proposal. Basically because I have been privy to many of the conversations that were going on where certain of our staff were pushing to provide our water and sewer services to those areas outside the Village. We pay taxes but due to our filing status and being a private community, we are cutoff from receipt of any of those funds for our development. As pointed out, if a connection is made, it takes almost no effort to make it flow out instead of in. Even if a document states it is only for incoming services, doesn’t mean it can’t change in the future. We can keep providing resources to those outside the community because we will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep in the future and those are our assessments. I for one am not in favor of this move without proper vetting by the proper resources.
04/12/2022 — 1:01 pm
Sounds like a deal
04/15/2022 — 8:07 pm
Real estate developers covet advance information about where water/sewer lines will be extended. Land values tend to appreciate in those areas that will be served, so developers try to buy up property there before the routes become generally known in expectation of later profits. It would be interesting to see if any large tracks of land changed hands several years ago in anticipation of this particular route and who the new owners are.