OWASA Board of Directors Meeting Summary for May 28

OWASA’s Board of Directors met virtually on Thursday, May 28, 2020, and considered an agenda that included updates on the response to COVID-19, an update on the relaunch of OWASA’s website, and public hearings on the preliminary annual operating and capital improvements budget and proposed rates, fees, and charges. The full agenda as well as other Board materials cane be found here.

The Board of Directors is currently meeting virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Hearings

The Board conducted concurrent public hearings on the preliminary annual operating and capital improvements budget and proposed rates, fees, and charges. The proposed budget does not increase rates and fees for customers and includes roughly $23.2 million for operating expenses, $20.3 million for capital projects, and $9.1 million for debt service. The Board of Directors will vote on the final budget at their June 11, 2020, Work Session.

Pandemic Preparedness and Response

The Board received an update on OWASA’s response to COVID-19 and a phased plan for returning to
normal operations. OWASA continues to take proactive measures to ensure we provide the Carrboro and Chapel Hill communities with high-quality and reliable water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services during the COVID-19 pandemic. OWASA staff who are able to telework will continue doing so. Safety measures are in place to allow for field crews to perform preventative maintenance and lab staff to operate in a limited capacity. OWASA’s lake recreation season will open at a reduced capacity with a variety of social distancing measures on May 29, 2020. OWASA will continue the suspension of service disconnection for non-payment through at least July 1, 2020 and will keep the Board informed on plans for customer payment plans and utility billing assistance.

Website Relaunch

Received an update on the relaunch of OWASA’s website. After completing a request for qualifications process, OWASA partnered with a local web development vendor and relaunched OWASA’s website on March 9, 2020. The website incorporated refreshed branding and will assist in OWASA’s communications with customers, including with updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next Meeting

The Board will hold its next meeting remotely on Thursday, June 11, 2020, via Microsoft Teams at 6 p.m.; a link will be provided here.

OWASA’s administrative office is closed to the public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Customers in need of assistance can still contact OWASA from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling (919) 968-4421, emailing customerinquiries@owasa.org, or using the chat function available in the bottom-right corner of the web page. Please allow for additional time for OWASA staff to respond during this time. We appreciate your patience.