WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Just over three weeks after Cape Fear Public Utility Authority signed a one-year contract worth up to $25,000 with a public relations firm for communication services related to unregulated chemicals in the drinking water, the authority's board has approved paying the firm an additional $40,000.
CFPUA retained Eckel & Vaughan, a Raleigh-based firm, on June 19, a little more than a week after the first media reports of GenX, a chemical replacement for a key ingredient in Teflon linked to cancer, and other unregulated chemicals being found in the Cape Fear River and CFPUA's water supply. The water company cannot currently filter these "emerging contaminants" out.
The $40,000 amendment to the contract, which was approved during the authority board's meeting Wednesday morning, "continue[s] the services of Eckel & Vaughan to support staff with strategic communications," according to board's agenda packet. Funds will be allocated from CFPUA's operating budget.
"It's an additional $40,000 to supplement staff, resources, and expertise as we communicate with our customers about the GenX issue," CFPUA Executive Director Jim Flechtner said during Wednesday's meeting.
Flechtner said Tuesday the proposed amendment was at the request of Eckel & Vaughan as the firm continues to perform services agreed to in the original contract.
The item was approved as part of the consent agenda, which typically combines several smaller items that need the board's approval but don't usually require much public conversion.
Contract approved June 19: