June 13, 2018

KEY LARGO — The Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District commissioners last week heard the results of their annual financial audit and met the sole company that provided a bid to install solar panels at the main plant.

Auditors Grau and Associates reported to commissioners a $3,651,364 increase in the district’s net position in 2017 from the year before and operating revenue of $9,556,501 based on charges to customers for services and fees.

According to the audit, the district services 14,300 equivalent dwelling units within 14.4 square miles, or 9,511 customers. A typical single family home accounts for one EDU.

The district has a net book value of $128,695,777 in land, infrastructure, equipment and construction in progress.

As for the district’s debt service requirement schedule, it will make $5,413,577 in total payments this year.

SALT Service Inc., a Marathon-based company, responded with the only bid to provide solar panels at the main plant. In its proposal, the company provided four options to shade the chlorine cisterns and four additional options for installing solar panels on the main plant roof.

SALT’s cost estimate to shade the chlorine contact basins is $207,300, which includes $112,500 as its payout portion to contract Reynolds Construction to install the framework structure over the basins to support the panels.

District staff said that direct sunlight breaks down the chlorine at an accelerated rate. Shading the chlorine will offer savings on the cost of chemicals, staff said.

SALT estimates the added scope of work to install panels on the roof to be $164,700.

Four other projects totaling $1.2 million at the main plant should be complete by November. The solar panel project could overlap with the other work.

The item was on the agenda for discussion only and will be brought back to the board after staff calculates the return on investment.

In other news, Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust covered $113,356 in district property damage due to Hurricane Irma, but after depreciation and the district’s deductibles were calculated, the insurance provider issued $68,224 for the damages claim. 

Staff reported that its Federal Emergency Management Agency claim was on hold until PGIT’s payment was received.

Commissioners last week also recommended reduced water usage during flooding and hurricane-like conditions, which means property owners should limit flushing, washing machine and dishwasher use, as well as outdoor hose use.

If power goes out, the district’s system is designed to operate on generators. If the generator is compromised due high winds or rain, the system could be temporarily offline.

The Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District’s next meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at 103355 Overseas Highway. A copy of the agenda can be found at klwtd.org.

tjava@keysnews.com