Welcome to Village Water System Inc.
Welcome to Village Water System Inc. We are a non-profit cooperative serving rural residential customers in the Princeton and Red Chute area in East Bossier Parish. Our mission is to provide safe, clean water to our area customers. Our offices are located on Hwy 80 in Haughton, Louisiana.
Village Water System, Inc.,(VWS) is a non-profit member owned water utility corporation, it was formed in 1967 with the sole purpose of serving the citizens of the Haughton area with potable water. The water system is independent of the nearby cities and is governed by the by the Public Service Commission. Under the auspice of a seven member elected board and through a perpetual agreement with its members the system is obligated to serve all residences, businesses, and industries within the limits of the system. Currently we serve over 3500 active meters and a population estimated to be over 12,000 members. The system spans along the LA State Hwy 80/I-20 corridor, from the Bossier City Limit on the west to just inside the Webster Parish on the east side and extends up to six miles north and south with I-20 forming the majority of the southern boundary. VWS is served by 18 wells with a distribution system consisting of eight water plants, twelve storage tanks with a storage capacity of over two million gallons of water. Monthly production averages approximately twenty million gallons during cooler months and over thirty million gallons during the summer months
RATE INCREASE PROPOSAL
Thursday, May 21, 2015 7:27am
SEE WATER RATES INCREASE LETTER BELOW
Probable Water Well purchase
The Board of Directors has an opportunity to buy an existing water well, 2700 LF of waterline and 100’ x 100’ of property from Mr. Bruce Logan for $35,400. The well is believed to produce up to 200 gpm. Mr. Fayad recommends spending $15,000 to do a well test to confirm the quality/capacity of the well and if it is good then purchasing the well. Once purchased, completing the well would cost approximately $115,000, but could be accomplished as funds are available. The Board of Directors moved to spend $15,000 to complete the well testing and $35,400 to buy the well and property if the well test meets VWS requirements.
This well will complement the existing two wells supplying water to the ground storage tank to the Tall Pines Water Plant.
RATE INCREASE INFORMATION
VILLAGE WATER SYSTEM, INC.
P. O. BOX 96
PRINCETON, LA. 71067
TEL. (318) 949-0223
FAX (318) 949-9518
April 8, 2015
In order to continue providing you with safe, clean drinking water your Board of Directors believes that a rate increase has become inevitable. This decision was reached only after months of expenses exceeding revenue. In February, an extensive Rate Study by the Louisiana Rural Water Association validated our concerns.
Since the last rate increase in 2010, all rural water systems have been placed under the regulatory authority of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, which requires the water system to hold a members meeting to formally announce the systems intention to raise rates prior to submitting the request for a rate increase. Accordingly, a members meeting to address the rate increase is scheduled for 7 PM 16 June 2015 at Platt Elementary School on HWY 80 East, Haughton La.
The proposed rates are as follows:
Residential rate: $20 Monthly minimum allowing 2000 gallons.
$4.75 per 1,000 gallons thereafter.
Trailer Court Rates $40 Monthly minimum allowing 15,000 gallons
$5.00 per 1,000 gallons thereafter.
Commercial rate: $40 Monthly minimum allowing 15,000 gallons
$5.00 per 1,000 gallons thereafter.
Impact to your residential bill with these new rates if approved:
Any rate increase must be forwarded to and approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission prior to implementation. This process will not start until after the June members meeting and approval could take as much as a year.
Board of Directors
SPECIAL MEMBERS MEETING
Call to Order: The Village Water Systems, Inc (VWS) Special Members Meeting was called to order by the President Mr. Todd France at 7:06 PM.
Board Members Present: Mr. Todd France, Mr. Charles Branton, Mr. Frank Kreid, Mr. Don Murphy, Mr. Ed Burtle, Mr. Bill Burris and Mr. Mike Thornton. Also, present were Mr. Sal Fayad the VWS manager, Mr. Travis Morehart representing Cook and Morehart Certified Public Accountants, Mr. Lee Jones of C&L Aqua Pro and Mr. Clarence Beebe of the Louisiana Rural Water Association who performed the Rate Study. Ms. Sue Loe and the VWS administrative staff.
Introductions: Mr. France introduced the Board members, VWS staff and all guest’s.
Read and Approve Minutes: Not required.
Financial Reports: Not required
Board Statement: Mr. Thornton provided an overview (SEE BELLOW) of the Board’s reasoning for pursuing a rate increase. Mr. Thornton addressed aggressive action taken to increase system storage, addition of new distribution lines and control equipment, increase in water supply, construction of the new Wafer Road Plant and the need for financial resources to keep the system healthy and continue system wide improvements and modernization. The decreasing revenue over the past two years was also sited as a principal factor in the decision to move forward with a rate increase. Mr. Thornton explained that the rate increase must now be forward to the Public Service Commission for action. The Public Service Commission could approve, disapprove or approve some portion of the request.
Questions and Answers: Mr. France opened the floor for questions. There were no questions.
Attendance: There was one member in attendance. Village Water Systems rented an elementary school auditorium for the meeting and had seating for over 100 if necessary. It should be noted that there was heavy rain at the time the meeting was to begin which later cleared. All representatives for the water system were present and on time to include seven Board members, four employees, a LRWA representative from Hornbeck, La, a chemical company representative from Sulphur, La. and Mr. Morehart who is the VWS auditor. Also in attendance was Mr. Glen Benton Bossier Parish Police Jury and the only
system member in attendance.
Vote - Mr. Thornton moved that the Board approve the rate increase as proposed in the letter to the members and forward that approved rate increase to the Public Service Commission for their action. Seconded by Mr. Kried. Approved by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors.
Motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Thornton. Seconded by Mr. Branton. Approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned by Mr. France at 7:23 PM.
Board of Director's comments during the
Membership meeting 30th June 2015
The purpose of tonight’s meeting is to discuss the Boards decision to seek a rate increase from the La Public Service Commission. Since the last rate increase in 2010, all Louisiana Rural Water systems have been placed under the regulation of the LPSC and any rate increase must be reviewed and approved by the PSC. Based on recent history with other water systems the PSC review could last up to a year, however recent changes to the review process have been put in place to shorten the process for rural systems. What I hope to do in the next few minutes is give you a clear picture of how the process works and why we are seeking a rate increase and then we will open the floor for questions. I would like to start by giving a little background on the system.
Village Water System, Inc., (VWS) is a non-profit member owned water utility corporation, which was formed in 1967 with the sole purpose of serving the citizens of the Haughton rural area with potable water. VWS is governed by a seven member Board of Directors who are elected members of the system and serve for a three year term without compensation. The water system is independent of the nearby cities and is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission. The system is obligated to serve all residences, businesses, and industries within the limits of the system. The current population served by VWS is estimated at over 12,000 residents with over 3500 active meters. With the current population of Bossier Parish at approximately 120,000 that means that we are serving approximately 10% of the citizens of Bossier Parish and it makes us the second largest water provider in the Parish after Bossier City. The system spans along the Highway 80/Interstate 20 corridor, from the Bossier City limit on the west for over 11 miles to just inside Webster Parish on the east and extends up to six miles north and south with Interstate 20 forming the majority of the southern boundary. VWS is served by 17 wells, with a distribution system consisting of seven pumping stations and thirteen storage tanks with a capacity of over three million gallons. Monthly production averages approximately 20 million gallons during cooler months and over 30 million gallons during high usage summer months.
At present, VWS is not in a critical financial position and we do not see that changing in the next six months to a year, but your Board of Directors is charged with ensuring the welfare of the system and planning for the future. Operating a large, modern water system is expensive and it is incumbent on the Board of Directors to ensure the financial stability of the system. Since the 2010 rate increase, we have invested in many system improvements which allow VWS to better serve our current members and position the water system to support future growth. Additionally, after the 2010 rate increase, the Board took steps to accumulate funds for contingencies. The goal was to have funds available to sustain the system operations in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster. Today we have reserves approaching $500K.
So why do we need a rate increase? VWS is an independent member owned system, we depend almost solely on water revenue for our income and as a not for profit all of that income goes towards operating, maintaining and improving the system.
Over the last two physical years we have seen water revenue losses. This negative revenue has recently slowed or stopped all but the most necessary system improvements and discretionary spending has been greatly reduced. Projections for the current physical year ending 31 July indicates that we could see another loss this year. I should also mention that the VWS financial audits over the last two years have resulted in the auditor recommending that we consider a rate increase especially if we want to retain the contingency funds that we have managed to set aside since 2010. The Board has been watching these losses for the last two years, and decided in January of this year to take action. Because the process for seeking a rate increase can be lengthy, the Board felt that waiting for things to get worse was not prudent.
The first step in pursuing a rate increase through the LPSC is to accomplish a rate study conducted by the Louisiana Rural Water Association. The rate study uses a computerized template which when completed provides the PSC with a financial picture of the water system and an idea of what a proposed rate increase would do for the sustainability of the water systems financial position. The second step in the rate increase process is a meeting with the members to present the rate proposal. The third step is to forward the proposed rate increase and all supporting documents to the PSC for review. Once the PSC staff has reviewed our rate case, they will make a recommendation to the Commissioners based on the results of their review. The commissioners can approve all or part of our rate request or disapprove the entire request.
Your board of directors desire is to not only keep your water system on a sound financial footing, but to also have funds available for emergencies, future growth and modernization of the system. As individuals none of us want to see our water rates go up, but as a water system we must consider the future needs of our community.
Mr. Andy Taylor resigns from the Village Water Board of Directors.
To view pictures taken of the resignation ceremony; go to PHOTOS then OFFICE
Mr. Andrew Taylor recently resigned from his position on the Village Water Board of Directors due to health concerns. A retired Air Force Veteran, Mr. Taylor served Village Water for over 21 years. Elected as the President of the Board in 2002, he served in that capacity for 2 years, he also later served from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Taylor was instrumental in ensuring Village Water’s success over the last 21 years and his presence on the Board of Directors will be missed. The Board wants to thank Mr. Taylor for his many years of dedicated volunteer service to the Village Water Systems membership.
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