Pinckard said some council members then began talking to Split Rail neighborhood residents, spreading false rumors about the number of tanks and an elevated water tower, something Pinckard said was not planned. Some of the information presented to residents was talked about in executive session and should not to be discussed with the general public, Pinckard said.
Because of the outcry from Split Rail residents, the Annetta council decided not to pursue the land purchase from Lumsden, Pinckard said.
Pinckard said negotiations with a pair of landowners on the south side of the system for a new well site have gone well. A new well could help increase pressure by 30 to 40 gallons per minute system-wide, the mayor said, stating that work could begin as soon as February.
Hudson Oaks City Administrator Sheri Campbell-Husband said that Hudson Oaks has worked well with both the Annetta council and residents on the system and that the improvement in customer service has been an important part of the effort.
Under the agreement, the city of Annetta pays $14,333.33 monthly to the city for water and sewer maintenance, or about $172,000 a year. Lawler says the city isn’t making any money and hopes to turn over responsibility for the projects to Annetta in the future.
“We never intended this to be a long-term deal,” Lawler said. “We never went into this with the intention of making money.”
Since Hudson Oaks took over management of the system, Lawler said the city has made significant repairs to the water system. A foul odor emanating from the sewer plant has also been addressed, with neighbors, including nearby Stuard Elementary School, no longer complaining, according to Lawler.
Hudson Oaks Mayor Pat Deen says the system needs improving and urged the Annetta council to take politics out of the agreement and look at what is best for the system.