LITTLEVILLE — City Council members voted unanimously Monday to continue purchasing water from Tuscumbia Utilities and the Spring Valley Water System.
The decision ended several months of uncertainty that caused concern among officials with the two utilities and the Colbert County Commission.
Some officials were worried that water rates could increase for Tuscumbia Utilities and Spring Valley Water System customers if Littleville chose to enter into a long-term contract with Russellville Utilities.
Russellville offered to sell water to Littleville at a lower rate, but the town would have needed to borrow $1.6 million to have a water line constructed to connect to the nearest Russellville Utilities line.
Under the new contract, Tuscumbia will provide water to Littleville for $2.40 per 1,000 gallons while Spring Valley will provide water for $2.50 per 1,000 gallons.
The town had been paying Tuscumbia $2.50 per 1,000 gallons and $2.66 to Spring Valley.
The council voted on each contract individually.
“We got the best contract we could get,” Councilman Don Pennington said.
Both contracts include annual 2 percent cost increases. The council approved a motion to pass the 2 percent increase to Littleville customers.
“It’s a good contract,” Mayor Kenneth Copeland said.
Under the new contracts, Littleville must purchase a minimum of 3 million gallons of water per day from Tuscumbia and 2.1 million gallons per day from Spring Valley.
Copeland said the town will only be charged for water it uses. Spring Valley agreed to reduce the minimum amount of water the town was purchasing.
The mayor said the town was paying for 75,000 gallons of water per day they were not using. He said that cost the town about $28,000 per year.
That decision and the fact they would not be eligible for the low interest AMFund loan to connect to the nearest Russellville water line were two reasons the council opted to stay with Tuscumbia and Spring Valley.
Copeland said Tuscumbia also agreed to provide water for the town through other channels if their plant went down.
“This was a money-saving thing,” Councilman Rodney McAnnally said. “We just wanted to save money.”
Copeland said he expects the town will be able to set aside some money to make repairs to the system, which is losing 40 percent of its water to leaks or faulty water meters.
The mayor and Pennington said Littleville will be researching the cost of addressing the water losses in the coming months.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.