TUSCUMBIA — Colbert County Commissioners expressed concern about Littleville officials possibly going outside the county to purchase water for resell to town residents, but admitted the county is powerless to stop them.
Littleville is considering ending its relationship with Tuscumbia Utilities and the Spring Valley Water System in order to purchase water from Russellville Utilities. The town buys about 200,000 gallons of water per day from Tuscumbia and another 100,000 gallons from Spring Valley.
Littleville has been purchasing water from Tuscumbia for about 40 years.
Commissioner Jimmy Gardiner, whose district includes Tuscumbia, informed commissioners about the issue during Tuesday's commission meeting.
Gardiner said if Littleville signs a contract with Russellville, the loss of revenue could result in higher water rates for Tuscumbia and Spring Valley customers.
During a meeting at Littleville on Monday, Spring Valley Water System Manager Tony Jones told Littleville's mayor and council that the system borrowed money to improve the water system that serves Littleville.
Gardiner also pointed out that during recent droughts, several Shoals water systems, including Colbert County and Tuscumbia, made sure that Littleville customers had water.
"I just want it to be known to the commission," Gardiner said.
He said he is considering asking the commission to approve a resolution asking that Littleville work with Tuscumbia and Spring Valley to find a solution.
Commissioner Emmitt Jimmar said there is little the county can do when it comes to the actions of a municipality.
"This is a very serious situation we're caught in without any ammunition," Jimmar said.
Commissioner Roger Creekmore represents Littleville, Spring Valley and Colbert Heights, which gets its water from Littleville.
"I don't think we have the ability to interfere," Creekmore said.
Creekmore said he and Gardiner have been talking to the various parties to try and get them to work out an agreement.
Based on discussions Monday, it appears Tuscumbia and Spring Valley are interested in discussing long-term agreements with Littleville in order to preserve their relationships.
Gardiner said he did not want to see money that had been staying in Colbert County suddenly flow into Franklin County.
In other business, the commission:
approved a proclamation recognizing February as National Radon Action Month;
approved a proclamation recognizing 2013 as the year of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority;
approved a one-day liquor license for an Alabama Wildlife Federation wild game cook-off;
approved the purchase of a half-page advertisement in the TimesDaily Progress Edition;
agreed to increase the mileage rate for employees to 56.5 cents per mile;
authorized the solicitation of bids for new carpet for the Department of Human Resources offices;
announced a public hearing for Feb. 5 to address a request for a liquor license for Yogi's II package on Alabama 247.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.