Local firm to run and evaluate Peachtree City sewer system

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ISE awarded a no-bid contract for $100K more per year than current costs; now getting paid for 10 other system projects

Peachtree City’s water and sewerage authority will now be evaluated by engineering firm ISE to see if the operation can be run more efficiently. However, one estimate shows the new deal will cost the city sewer system $100,000 a year more than it currently pays for a general manager’s position.

At the beginning of July, the City Council became the new board of directors after local legislation passed the  General Assembly allowing the City Council to take control. Previously, a volunteer board had overseen the workings of the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority.

On Aug. 6, the board approved a $287,000 proposal from Integrated Science and Engineering for managing the authority.

Interim WASA Director Susan Lee now goes back to her old job of operations director. As far as a general manager, Mayor Vanessa Fleisch said she thinks the point man will be ISE’s Dan Davis, but said that was a question Davis could answer better. The Citizen left several messages for Davis, but did not receive a call-back.

“ISE presented information for turnkey management of the authority,” she said.

The scope of services ISE provided included:

• Assessment of the current organizational and staffing.

• Financial services management.

• Human resources management.

• Weekly staff meetings.

• Program management.

All told, the six tasks would add up to a yearly bill of $286,800.

WASA board chairman Vanessa Fleisch said there was no RFP put out because this is for professional services.

ISE is currently doing 10 projects for WASA, which they included in a conflict of interest paragraph.

“The deal with ISE is not a contract, and does not require the Peachtree City Council approving it,” Fleisch said.

She said the deal can be cancelled by either party with a 30-day notice.

Just over a year ago, the City Council decided to petition the General Assembly for changes to the WASA legislation.

Last August, the then-WASA board sent a sharply-worded letter to the City Council.

“Simply put, there is no independent justification for replacing the members of the authority with City Council members. To do so is an affront to the current volunteers who serve and all of those who have served in the past who have done an exemplary job in maintaining WASA. Simply because you may wish to have control over all the aspects of the authority because you have disagreed with some of its decisions, is no reason to change the entire paradigm of the membership of the authority.”

The subsequent legislation in effect replaced the volunteer board with a board composed entirely of the elected city council.