By Marty Proctor
Groveland City Council agreed to a $3.17 million contract with Woodard and Curran (W&C) to provide operation and maintenance services for the City of Groveland water, wastewater, and reclaimed water distribution and collection systems.
The City Water System operation is being transitioned from the City Public Services department. Public Services includes streets, stormwater, parks, water utilities, and fleet. There are currently 35 Public Services employees and 16 City employees scheduled to transition to W&C. Steve Guba Interim Public Services Director with over 10 years City service commented, “This is a step forward for the City. This provides the best move for employees as well.” Steve continued, “Woodard and Curran has the resources to help our team members advance their careers within the City and the utility industry.” City Staff and the Department supported and recommended outsourcing the operation and management of water utilities.
“The outsourcing creates a ‘reach back’ capability for support,” injected Councilperson Mike Smith. He explained further, “an added knowledge base, larger staff, and resources to provide better service and situation or emergency response.” City Manager Mike Hein stated “the contacts will remain the same, the local team will remain the same, they will even have the City logo on their shirts, along with another logo. Many citizens…may not even notice the transition.” W&C brings wider experience across nationwide geographies and more diverse expertise. Employee benefits will transfer to the new company along with the opportunities to enhance their professional careers.
W&C will run the day-to-day operation of the utility. Improved water systems efficiency and facility updates will continue. It is expected that even with the 5% cost-plus, fee-based service contract, the City will save $40,000 the first year alone. This initial contract has a duration of 5 years with termination options and can be renewed or extended as well. City water utility capital and system improvements of $5.7 million are budgeted over the next 24 months.
Other City Council news:
- $9.7M contract with Hawkins Construction for the construction of the City Public Service Complex.
- $69.5 million total operating budget and the tax millage rate (5.2, same rate in place since 2017)
Marty Proctor is a writer for the South Lake Tablet covering Groveland and the surrounding area.
His primary interests are the local impact of city and county government, local growth management, tracking area charitable groups and sharing factual information.
Marty is a long-time resident on Lake Emma north of Groveland, doing public information consulting, social media marketing and freelance writing as well as fishing, bowling, and caring for wife Julie and dachshund Georgia.