Madison to get up to $15 million in water infrastructure improvements

MADISON COUNTY Ala. -- Madison County will be spending millions of dollars on infrastructure, to improve the water department. Commission Chairman, Dale Strong, said some of the water meters in the county are over 30-years-old, some only metering about 30% of the water going through them. The commission will spend up to $15 million to improve water infrastructure in the county, with one of the biggest expenses being a new water metering system.

"This new metering that we're looking at is something that is long past due," Strong said.

He said they will go to the bond market for the money, saying they currently have the best bond rating in the history of the Madison County Commission. The commission will ultimately decide whether to borrow $10 or $15 million for the improvements, but Strong said spend what they need to get it done now.

"I believe that we're better off to execute this now, the $15 million rather than waiting and doing $10 and trying to come back and hope the market conditions are still favorable," Strong said.

He said the money they will make through having accurate water metering will cover the costs of the infrastructure improvements. "It's going to pay for itself. It's not a hard business decision."

He said the new meters will show inaccuracies in customer water bills. "It also will be beneficial to our customers, that if they're using an enormous amount of water, all of a sudden that starts, you know there's a leak," Strong said. "It's something that's gonna be beneficial."

The commission has already authorized through their budget to install 17,000 of the advanced meters.