01/06/05 — Calypso begins adding sewer customers

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Calypso begins adding sewer customers

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 6, 2005 1:58 PM

CALYPSO -- Calypso has started adding customers to its new sewer system.

Twenty-five residents will be added. They are the first for the system that will link with Mount Olive. They will also be the only customers until Mount Olive builds its new sewer plant, which will eventually handle Mount Olive's and Calypso's waste.

The Calypso town board voted unanimously Monday night to approve the sewer rates for the 25 customers in the northern part of town. The bills will go out at the end of the month.

Mayor Tom Reaves told the board that three crews are busy working to finish installing the sewer pipes. They're hooking up customers as they go, he said.

The board is notifying several residents that they can apply for low-income qualifications to receive seven more free hook-ups under a grant.

Some residents will have difficulty paying the monthly bill, said Town Commissioner Diane Lewis. The sewer service is causing the monthly water bills to be at least $18.74 more than before. If someone has water, sewer and garbage pickup services and uses the minimum amount of water, the average bill will be $45.

The town will save money on service calls, though. The town's lift stations have automatic dialers on them. If there is any problem, the dialers contact the town of Mount Olive immediately. Mount Olive is providing maintenance and repair service.

Town Commissioner Greg Day said the town can expect to be "in the hole" financially for the first year of starting the sewer service. There will be some glitches in the system, he said, and he asked that the residents "bear with us during the process."

The people putting in the lines have told the mayor that the residents have been patient.

With only 25 customers, Reaves said, it's going to be a while before the town starts breaking even on costs to bring sewer service to Calypso.

The board also stiffened its collection policy. Customers who were late paying their utility bills had been receiving a red notice that said their water would be cut off in 48 hours if they did not call Town Hall to make payment arrangements.

The bills come due on the 20th of each month. The town starts adding on a late fee on the 21st. If the customer doesn't pay the bill by the 25th, payment arrangements can be made.

But now, after the fifth of each month, there will be no more payment arrangements. The customer must pay or the water will be cut off.

In other business, the town board is looking for a permanent public-works associate. Applications will be accepted at Town Hall until Jan. 25. The board will meet in a special session on Jan. 31 to interview the applicants and will vote Feb. 7 on who to hire.