By Alyssa Schnugg
After more than a year, the city of Oxford and Punkin Water Association now have a signed contract that will allow PWA to purchase water from the city to help increase the water association’s capacity to serve current and future members.
On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to approve the long-awaited contract with PWA. The PWA board of directors approved the contract on their side on Monday.
The five-year agreement allows PWA to purchase up to 250,000 gallons of water daily via a master meter connection that PWA will be building.
PWA will need to construct a 14-inch water distribution line from Campground Road to a proposed metering station located at the western boundary of PWA’s certificated area.
At the metering station connection point, a 4-inch metering arrangement will be constructed and installed. PWA will also need to construct a 12-inch water distribution line from the proposed metering station to County Road 334.
The city of Oxford will then purchase the improvements from PWA after they are constructed.
The purchase price will be applied as a credit to PWA’s monthly water bill, up to $500,000.
Oxford will read the meter each month and bill PWA accordingly.
Talks between PWA and the city started more than a year ago when PWA customers complained about the quality and pressure of their water to the Public Service Commission. A moratorium was placed on new construction inside PWA’s area in July 2018.
Last month, PWA asked the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors to lift the moratorium, but that request was denied with the main reason being the lack of a signed agreement between PWA and the Oxford Utilities.
PWA Vice President Karen Popernik said PWA appreciates the opportunity to partner with the city of Oxford and foresees a positive outcome for its members.
“We’re very pleased,” she said. “We’re looking forward to getting the project started and helping our members.”
Popernik said the next step is to get the funding needed to make the improvements.
“We’re going to be seeking funds from several sources, some of which will include grants and government sources,” she said.