Water district, water authority hoping to merge
by Aziza Jackson
Sep 30, 2012 | 1986 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TALLADEGA COUNTY — Ida Station Water District, south of Talladega Springs, is looking to merge with the Fayetteville Water Authority.

An application was submitted to the Talladega County and Coosa County commissions on behalf of the Fayetteville Water Authority requesting that they authorize the water authority to accept the assets and liabilities of Ida Station Water District.

In the application, Fayetteville Water Authority states, “The Board has determined that it is in the best interest of the citizens that it serves and their future needs to consolidate the assets of Ida Station Water District with those of the Fayetteville Water Authority, and that the Board has further determined that, after the transfer of said assets and liabilities the Fayetteville Water Authority will be responsible for serving the area currently served by Ida Station Water District.”

The board also “seeks permission to amend its articles of incorporation to include the new service area …”

An application has also been submitted to both commissions requesting the dissolution of the Ida Station Water District, stating that it has no outstanding bonds or other obligations.

The Ida Station Water District currently serves about 130 customers.

“We’re south of Talladega Springs and Ida Station is the name of the community that was here a long time ago, that’s where the name comes from,” chairman Don Wallis said.

“We’re on the end of the Fayetteville Water Authority system. We were both built at the same time; theirs grew, ours didn’t.”

Wallis said the main reason Ida Station needs the merger is because everyone involved are volunteers, and the board is down to three board members out of five seats.

“We’re a purchase system,” Wallis said. “We already buy our water from them.”

The Fayetteville Water Authority’s records were subpoenaed by District Attorney Steve Giddens almost two months after the Talladega County Commission requested an audit from the state examiners office regarding the board’s operations and alleged ethics violations.

Among many complaints from customers in Fayetteville was a surplus 2007 Ford truck with approximately 75,000 miles that was bid on by Don Blair, Morgan Arnold, Kenneth Jackson, Gene Simms, Terry’s Used Cars and Josh Tubbs.

Josh Tubbs, the son of board manager Johnny Tubbs, won the bid for the truck after bidding $5,001, one dollar higher than Terry’s Used Cars’ bid of $5,000.

“To us that’s apples and oranges,” Wallis said. “It’s two different issues. It doesn’t deter us because we’re buying water from them anyway.”

Wallis said the merger has been in the works for two or three years.

“We’ve sent out letters and, to the best of my knowledge, there’s no negative attitudes about it at all,” Wallis said.

He said the Ida Station Water District’s customers will benefit from the merger because Fayetteville Water Authority’s minimum rate is a few dollars lower than with theirs.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Wallis said.

Commission chairman Jimmy C. Roberson recommended at a recent meeting that the commission hold a public hearing for customers who want to have some input on the merger.

When asked about the Fayetteville Water Authority’s recent history with alleged ethics violations, Roberson said, “That’s why I’m having the public hearing, to get input from the current customers.”

The public hearing has been scheduled for 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, before the commission meeting at 6 p.m.