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Bryson City Council discusses $11,000 water loss

During its regular meeting Monday, Bryson City Council discussed costs of water lost. City Secretary Frank Hefner said the city showed a deficit of $19,000 in its water budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“We had the idea we’d lose right at about $40,000,” Hefner said. “We budgeted a loss last year in our water and sewer fund. We did that because we were planning some water improvements that were coming directly out of the budget. We weren’t getting grants or anything like that.”

Hefner shared his calculations on water lost from the city in the amount of just more than $11,000.

He said water used for flushing is often metered and there are 2.2 million gallons or 11.8 percent of water pumped from Graham unaccounted for.

“I wanted to show you some dollar figures of where I feel like we’re losing some dollars on some stuff that can’t be accounted for,” Hefner said. “Especially when it’s about to get to the point here that every penny is going to count for something.”

He said he just wanted to bring the issue to the council’s attention. No action was taken.

“Right now, we’ve got a bleed and it’s not gushing but before long it’s going to be something,” Hefner said. “I wouldn’t recommend continuing to do what we’re doing of continuing to lose $11,000 for the next 5 years.”

The council also approved Bryson Volunteer Fire Department using the city’s membership in the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative to purchase equipment for the department.

The cooperative allows the city to streamline its purchasing process by simplifying the bid process for member entities. 

The mayor said the cooperative also brings back better pricing with greater purchasing power.

Bryson VFD Assistant Chief Henry Birdwell Jr. said the department has been awarded a grant in the amount of $118,000 from the Texas Forest Service for a new brush truck and would like to go through BuyBoard to buy it.

He said the department would have to go through the city’s because only government or taxing entities can use it.

“We’ll save about $20,000 on the truck, the cab and chassis,” Henry Birdwell said. “We are not asking for any funding, but we would like to use that discount that y’all receive. Run the paperwork through the city. We will write the check for the cab and chassis out of the fire department account.”

He added the fire department is in good shape concerning equipment. Once the new truck comes in and is outfitted for firefighting, the department will have about $150,000 in it and the county fire department is matching the 10 percent cost share for the grant and the rest has been raised through fundraisers.

The council voted to approve a contract for engineering services through Corlett, Probst and Boyd of Wichita Falls as required for application for a 2017-18 Texas Community Development Block Grant to make improvements and repairs to the Bryson sewer plant and possibly replace some sewer lines.

Four firms submitted bids through Nortex Regional Planning Commission and Mayor Birdwell recommended the council choose Corlett, Probst and Boyd because the firm’s bid proposal was in line with the rest and the city has worked with them in the past.

The engineering fees will be $32,000 and that is contingent on the city receiving the grant funds.

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