REDINGTON SHORES – Recently completed major repairs to a portion of the town of Redington Shores’ aging sewer system are already paying off in lower water treatment charges.
Less water is seeping into the system due to the relining of manhole covers with a new epoxy-based sealant, and repair of pipe lines, Vice Mayor John Branch said at the Oct. 10 Town Commission meeting.
As a result, “Our water treatment bill from the county dropped quite a bit,” he said.
The repairs, which were done only in the area around town hall and 175th Avenue, are phase one of a massive project to stop 50 years of infiltration of rain and ground water from seeping into the sewer system.
Branch said he is pleased to see significant savings already occurring, and he expects the repair project to eventually pay for itself.
“It looks like this thing is going to save us the expense of what it cost,” Branch told the commission.
Because of the success of the repair project so far, and uncertainties about funding sources in the future, Branch said a decision has been made to go ahead and do the whole town now, rather than in sections, concentrating on the manholes and pipes in the worst shape.
Branch said in later comments that the town’s sewer system is old “and, just like a person, it wears out after a while.”
Older types of cement sealants wear out quicker than those currently being used, he said.
The system has also suffered from years of neglect, Branch said.
“Nobody did anything for so long,” he said. “That’s the sad part about elected officials.”
Now, the repairs are being done, the water infiltration is being stopped, and the savings are coming in.
“It’s not just nickels, it’s thousands we’re saving,” Branch said.
Resident Christy Herig said she is pleased that Redington Shores is combining its building services operation with Indian Shores. The town should look at doing more consolidating of services and equipment sharing with neighboring communities, she said.
“We’re such a little town, I’d like to see a definite plan to continue merging services,” Herig said.
Even larger efficiencies of operation could be obtained by merging the towns, like the three Redingtons, or Indian Shores and Redington Shores, she said.
The commission members did not comment on Herig’s remarks.
Just last month, planning board member Dave Eldridge said the building services arrangement with Indian Shores is hurting Redington Shores. Code enforcement issues are not being handled because Building Official Steve Andrews is spending more than half his time in Indian Shores, Eldridge complained.
“If that is the way it is going to be, we’re going to hell in a hand basket pretty fast,” he said.