Silver Springs GID plant finally running in the black

A year and three months after the Lyon County Commissioners voted to dissolve the Silver Springs General Improvement Board and put itself in charge of that town's sewer system, the troubled operation has turned a profit.

County Comptroller Josh Foli said the GID now has $140,000 in its accounts, not counting depreciation, which is still not fully funded and won't be for a while.

The commissioners took over the GID in June 2007 after complaints of infighting and ineffectiveness among the board, with different board members suing or threatening to sue one another. Lyon County Utilities, which runs the Dayton sewer and water systems, and the Mound House and Crystal Clear water systems, took over the sewage plant, with the commissioners serving as the ex officio GID board.

"We managed to cut costs enough to save $140,000," he said. "As a contrast, the total loss when they had it was $100,000 through fiscal year 2007."

He said the losses included operating income and interest income.

Mike Workman head of Lyon County Utilities, said his department did everything possible to cut costs.

"We reduced overtime significantly. We reduced staff, closed the office and contracted with the water company for officer work and bookkeeping," he said. "We also installed a new telemetry system that allows us to operate the plant remotely (from the Dayton headquarters)."

He said the success came from optimizing the plant and the processes, and watching expenses.

Foli said one issue with the management of the plant under the former GID board was they did not fund depreciation at all.

"I don't expect that to turn around in the near term," he said.

The profit comes from the bills customers pay and the interest accrued on the bank account, he said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.

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