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April 10, 2014

MUB could take over Rural Water District 1

PRYOR, OK — Ronnie Donovant visited the Pryor Municipal Utility Board meeting Monday to discuss Rural Water District 1.

Donovant said he took over the position after it was vacated by Phillip Ramsey, who told Donovant the city had previously expressed interest in the district.

Donovant said the entity has no employees and is in the middle of MUB’s territory. There’s even a MUB tap in the middle of RWD 1, Donovant said.

“There’s a total of 42 taps and 42 customers,” Donovant said. “Rural Water District 1 starts just this side of the fair grounds, to Ramms Body Shop, to Hidden Acres.”

MUB General Manager Gary Pruett said he believes the system was installed in 1965.

“Correct, and I believe it is PVC pipe,” said Donovant.

“This is something that could be an asset to MUB when we start looking at long-term expansion but we know it will need upgraded,” said Pruett.

Board member Henry Neftzger asked what the cost may be to perform the necessary upgrades, should MUB take the small water district on.

Pruett said if the entire system was replaced at once, it would be roughly $500,000.

“We currently buy water from you. But we charge more so our rates are higher,” said Donovant, who wondered what a takeover could mean for the 42 customers.

Pruett said determining what the takeover would do to RWD 1 customer rates is difficult.

The east side of one county road, he said, is inside the MUB limits while the west side is outside the limits, each having different rates.

At this point Donovant clarified that his intentions are to give the district to MUB rather than sell. Ninety percent of the residents in that area are currently MUB electric customers.

“Their rates may not go down a whole lot, but they would no longer have the responsibility to maintain it,” said Pruett, who added that if it comes necessary, vacating a rural water district takes the action of the county commissioners.

The board took no action, but determined they would do more research then discuss it further.


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