Garland board looks at water adjustments

Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer

January 16, 2014

Water adjustments are expected to be coming with force next month for the town of Garland, since the cold snap that occurred last week.

Mayor Pro Tem Haywood Johnson stated that during that time he had to go out to multiple Garland residents’ homes and shut off water for citizens who had leaks from suspected busted pipes from the freezing temperatures.

With five water leak adjustments already on the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting, and the expectation that there will be numerous others next month, the board made necessary movement toward protecting the town from a potential expense by limiting the adjustments to one per year and capping what the town clerk can automatically adjust at $200.

“We should limit it to one water leak adjustment per year,” said Johnson prior to the board voting on the adjustment issue.

As board members discussed what would be best for both the town and its residents, talk turned to what neighboring Roseboro does. There, town officials were told, the water adjustment is limited to one per year, with the deputy utility clerk for the town of Roseboro making that first initial adjustment.

Garland board members decided that any adjustment over $200 would automatically go before them and that proof, through receipts, of any plumbing repairs that have been made should also be provided to the town, as is currently the case.

“Anything that is more than that would automatically have to come before the board,” Mayor Winifred Murphy reiterated in a telephone interview Thursday. Murphy said the leak adjustment may or may not have to come before the board at the discretion of the clerk, regardless of whether it falls under that cap.

Garland is now working to upgrade the water system for the town, and the planned project should eliminate some of the ongoing problems residents have experienced over the past few years, town officials said.

The newer technology will give the town a variety of new features to assist with determining the quantity of water used at a location, as well as make it simple for the town to program reminders for things like replacing the meters to potentially prevent previous problems that have arisen from the age of the meters in place. The system will also quickly inform the town of water leaks before they get out of control, saving the town money.

Last year, the town of Garland was given approval by the Local Government Commission to borrow money for the project, which will replace the current meters with new ones. The loan will be for 20 years with zero interest, for a total of $240,550.

Each month, the town of Garland has to deal with problems from leaks, and town officials said residents are sure to come to the town over the new few weeks with more issues due to the cold snap that has caused problems and delayed schools all over the county. The new system, currently in the works, is expected to curb current water system issues plus provide a system that is reliable and accurate, giving the town the boost in revenue that it needs.

Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at