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WG&L, RiverQuarium reach deal on well

ALBANY, Ga. — Albany's Water, Gas & Light Commission Board voted Thursday to allow officials at the Flint RiverQuarium to move forward with plans to dig a well on RiverQuarium property.

RiverQuarium officials, who were not available for comment Thursday by The Herald's press time, had already received state Environmental Protection Division approval to dig the well, which would allow the aquarium to provide water for its fish without having to go through the tedious — and expensive — process of dechlorinating water provided by WG&L.

"(RiverQuarium officials) still must get approval from the Health Department, but I think they've answered all the questions this board has," WG&L Board Chairman, and Albany Mayor, Dorothy Hubbard said.

Doug Wilson with the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center in Albany said the RiverQuarium uses as much as 30,000 gallons of water a week.

Also at Thursday's monthly meeting, WG&L Director of Fiscal Affairs John Vansant said the utility had collected $3.6 million for its total system during the current fiscal year, some $680,000 below budget projections. Vansant also said WG&L had $4.4 million in reserve funds and would have $6.8 million by the end of the fiscal year if it meets budgeted goals.

"I know I sound like a broken record, but I want to see us put away as much money as we can in case we have an emergency," board member Bob Hutchinson said. "We've got to monitor this; we can't continue to spend and spend and spend."

Light Director Jimmy Norman offered a perfect example of just such an unplanned emergency with a four-minute film entitled "The Albany Tornado." The photographs and film clips in the film were taken after a tornado devastated downtown Albany Feb. 10, 1940.

"We always hope and pray for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst," Norman said. "We're prepared as far as our work force goes; we have some of the best line people in the state. Financially, though, that's y'all's area."

The board also got a video update on the progress being made on the two nuclear units being constructed at Plant Vogtle in Burke County. Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia South Georgia Regional Manager John Giles presented the video, which is available on the Web at southerncompany.com.

"MEAG owns 22.7 percent of this plant, and Albany owns 5 percent," Giles said. "There will be a 40-year debt service on the plant, but you won't be a part of paying that service for 20 years."

The video said 2,300 employees had put in 10 million work hours on the project.

Comments

VietVet1 1 year, 5 months ago

RiverQuarium has been around how long? And just now suggesting they could save up to $30,000 a month? LOL just let the taxpayer keep funding it. Paint it gray and call it another elephant.

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Amazed2 1 year, 5 months ago

Thats $30000 x 12 months that is $360000 a yr. X at least 8 years open that is a cost of only $2.9 Million Tax Dollars wasted. Oh well guess remember this Fish Tank was built by Tommy and ATI. They hired the design team and somebody has hired several highly paid directors for the place. Guess before now nobody ever thought outside de box. We pay WGL to put chemicals in the water then we pay they in house system to take the chemicals back out. Guess nobody realized the RiverQuarium was next to the river Nd could eiasily find water.

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HalfFan 1 year, 5 months ago

I dont think that it costs $30,000 to use 30,000 gallons of water. I would guess closer to $300. The article did not report what the cost of the dechlorination of the water is. Also the RiverQuarium has been trying to get the WG&L to approve the well for years.

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whattheheck 1 year, 5 months ago

HalfFan is correct. Article said 30,000 gal a month, not $30,000, unless it was changed after first posting.. The IRS form 990 submitted by the RQ does not show utility costs but electricity is the big ticket utility item. Regardless, it has never made sense to me why the RQ did not get its own well since it also had to spend money to remove chemicals from the city water. So, the costs of a well would be recouped quickly, I would think.

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Amazed2 1 year, 5 months ago

Congratulations to who ever thought of this.

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Amazed2 1 year, 5 months ago

Ok I got the $30,000 a month from Siater Ruby. No problem Gee they use 30000 gallons a week at the Fish Tank and the Water Police bust people for washing a car or watering the grass.

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RedEric 1 year, 5 months ago

Interesting, do they dechlorinate via distillation, reverse osmosis? Distillation could be the simplest and maybe that is why electrical costs are high. It would also be the most dependable/ safest for the fish. Reverse osmosis is not complicated. It must be carefully watched to ensure proper operation. Or do they use some other method?

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whattheheck 1 year, 5 months ago

Electrical costs are primarily to run the monster big pumps and control the fishes water temperature. I would think the RQ would still be a customer for water for public consumption but perhaps what they get from the well will be approved for all. But I do wonder what the RQ has been paying for sewer since it usually is tied in with water usage. Regardless, any savings will not ensure the economic future of the facility.

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1d2ec 1 year, 5 months ago

OK city water kills fish but it's good for us humans? Maybe we should dechlorinate water before we take a drink.

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Amazed2 1 year, 5 months ago

Nah!! Its a sinking ship. What they need to cut cost is to bring in a pump and pump the tanks into the river and get with Junebug and put on a fish fry.

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GeorgiaAl 1 year, 5 months ago

"I know I sound like a broken record, but I want to see us put away as much money as we can in case we have an emergency," board member Bob Hutchinson said. "We've got to monitor this; we can't continue to spend and spend and spend."........... But you are, you are, you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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