Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

C/AC Utilities, bonding company plan speedy project restart

  • Bonding company representatives arrive to get stalled Downtown Project completion work started
  • Audit report shows extraordinarily strong financial picture for utility, with assets exceeding debts by over $22 million dollars, very healthy cash position
  • East 80 area Tank bid approved
  • $2.5 million sewer projects for City of Columbia review, no action taken
  • Creekbank project closer to reality; slide remediation a part of project

Click on headline for story

By Ed Waggener

The Columbia/Adair Utilities District (CAUD) board of trustees had good news last night, Thursday, March 14, 2013 , that the Downtown Project should be back schedule shortly, when details of settlement with the bonding company are completed; and two, that the utility is in excellent financial condition, with over Assets exceeding Liabilities by $22,336,410 and a very healthy cash position, as well.

Downtown Project

The Downtown Project is part of the decades old catchup work needed to bring the City of Columbia water system up to modern standards. Work on new waterlines in the Young Street, Russell Road, and Frazier Avenue was halted, approximately 60% done, when Southern Backhoe of Campbellsville, KY, pulled its equipment and abandoned the project. Much of their work is already in use. Last night, the representatives of the surety firm met with the CAUD board, to outline settlement options. Basically, the bonding company would like to settle with a lump sum payment or, as a second choice, hire a new contractor to complete it. Work could resume within a few weeks, depending on the settlement option. General Manager Lenny Stone said that as far as he could foretell, under reasonably good circumstances the work might now be expected to be complete as soon as 4 months.

On balance, the project is likely no more costly because of the delay. The delay has made many landowners unhappy, and Mr. Stone said that is very understandable, and that the utility will do all it can to get the project and clean-up completed as soon as possible. The board and the bonding company will be Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 6pmCT, at the CAUD offices, 109 Grant Lane, Columbia, KY, negotiate in earnest.

Shirley Buckner gives audit report

Shirley Buckner of the accounting firm Wise, Buckner, and Sprowles gave the 2012 Audit report.

Most importantly, the audit show that the utility has assets of over $37 million dollars, liabilities of $14.7 million and a margin of $22,336,410 of assets over liablities. With only a bit over 1/3 debt to assets, the utility is far from a level of "concern" which she said would happen if there were to be 1/1 debt/asset ratio.

East 80 area Tank bid approved

The Board voted 5-1 to accept the Caldwell Tank company bid to build the a new elevated tank off East 80 near the Russell County line. The vote, on a motion by Rudy Higginbotham, seconded by Barry Stotts, was 5-0.

Review of Phase 16 project

The board reviewed its Phase 16 project, which contains both maintenance and capital improvements, including mostly sewer projects and water tank maintenance. Extremely favorable funding, with approximately 2/3 an outright grant, completed with a 1.875%, 40 year loan, would pay for new lift stations, a new belt press for the sewer plant, and water tower inspections. No action was taken at last night's meeting.

The project includes 5 new lift stations for the sewer system, including one for the Green River Commerce Park.

Creek Bank Project

The Russell Creek bank flood project is one step closer to happening. Surveys have been completed which would help predict flood levels along the valley. A public hearing will be set before the project is let. The need for the project was seen when the May 2010 flood waters breached a dike and sent waters into Columbia Sewer plant. The Utility has a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant approved to pay for the project and to stop a slide on the north side of the sewer plant campus.

Chairman Robert Flowers presided, with all members, Rudy Higginbotham, Tim Baker, David Jones, and Barry Stotts present. Also present were County Judge Executive Ann Melton; Shirley Buckner of the Accounting firm Wise Buckner and Sprowles of Campbellsville, KY; David Bowles, consulting engineer; Lenny Stone, General Manager; Board Attorney Marshall Loy; Office Manager Jennifer Carter, and representatives of the surety company representing Southern Backhoe.

The Board of the Columbia/Adair Utilities District meets at 6pmCT, each second Thursday at 209 Grant Street, Columbia, KY.

This story was posted on 2013-03-15 09:19:45
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

CAUD water board reviews 2012 Audit report

2013-03-16 - Photo by Ed Waggener. As Wise, Buckman and Sprowles CPA Shirley Buckner reviewed the 2012 Audit of the Columbia/Adair Utilities District (CAUD), Clockwise from left, Chair Robert Flowers, Commissioner Barry Stotts, Commissioner Rudy Higginbotham, Office Manager Jennifer Carter, General Manager Lenny Stone, and Commissioner David Jones listened. Commissioner Tim Baker was present but not shown in photo. The audit showed an exceptionally strong asset to debt ratio and a good cash balance, which may be even better when the Adair County Water Treatment plant's merger with CAUD is approved by the Public Service Commission and the huge asset is added to the balance sheet - along with a relatively low debt, itself financed by a long term 1% loan. The photo is from the Thursday, March 14, 2013, regular meeting of the CAUD Commissioners.
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.