Leland transfers property, easements to H2GO to consolidate utility operations

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - The Town of Leland unanimously approved a resolution Thursday that transfers property and assignment of easements to Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO, the final step in consolidating their water and wastewater operations.

All of the primary functions of a water utility — or Sanitation District — are being handled by H2GO, but there is co-ownership of some of the assets with the town of Leland.

It’s believed consolidating the utilities to become one service provider will make operations more efficient.

“The town had a small staff that was involved in sanitary district functions, but it was a small staff and H2GO’s staff is much larger, so the efficiencies that are gained by having a single organization managing all of the services really are going to benefit the people,” said Steve Hosmer, H2GO board of commissioners vice-chairman.

“Everything remains the same and now we are the ones who transfer the money over to the county, so the town is no longer involved with that — it’s seamless, totally seamless.” said Barry Laub, an H2GO commissioner. “Because the duplicity is now remedied, the town can concentrate on what it does best and H2GO can concentrate on what it does best and everybody wins.”

In March, the town and Sanitary District, or H2GO, entered into an interlocal agreement that would combine their utility operations to “gain efficiencies in operations, enhance financial sustainability, reduce redundancies and overlaps and improve customer service,” according to a news release announcing the decision.

This follows a years-long legal battle.

In short, the Town of Leland filed a lawsuit in 2017 involving the Town of Belville and H2GO over various issues.

Leland and H2GO, however, started to work out their differences late last year.

“The remarkable thing is that there have been years of differences between the Town of Leland and H2GO,” Hosmer said. “And sometime toward the end of last year, these two organizations decided to put those differences behind them and work cooperatively to better serve the citizens of Leland and the customers of H2GO and so this is really the culmination of that effort.”

Leland Town Council leaders did not have much to say following tonight’s council meeting as it appears this agreement was really ironed out back in March and tonight was a final formality.

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