VALDOSTA, Ga. --
Moody Air Force Base celebrated during a historical ceremony for the transfer of the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant from a private contractor to Lowndes County, Oct. 3, in Valdosta, Ga.
It’s taken three and a half years for this project to come to fruition, but Moody is leading from the front by becoming the first base in the Department of Defense to gain approval for an inter-governmental service agreement with a municipality for a utility.
The DOD selected Moody as one of 13 prototype Air Force installations to take part in the public-public, public-private, or P4 initiative. The P4 initiative is used as a tool for maximizing operational effectiveness and minimizing costs.
“[The P4 initiative allows] different agencies in the community to work with the DOD to see what we have in common so that we can work together and create win-win situations with the base and community,” said Bill Slaughter, the Lowndes County Commission chairman. “It’s going to help Lowndes County by providing another source of water for citizens in the North Lowndes County communities but all around, it saves money for everyone.”
Through the P4 initiative, which encourages Air Force installations to partner with local governments, Moody and Lowndes County created the Moody Community Partnership Committee or MCPC. The MCPC creates mutually beneficial partnerships to help Moody and Lowndes County save money.
Due to MCPC’s planning, Lowndes County will operate Moody’s treatment plant in a way that will benefit both sides.
“[The project] provides a redundant system to the Air Force,” said John Eunice, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron deputy base civil engineer. “Should something happen to the Air Force water system we now have the capability to tap into the county water system and vice versa.”
Having a backup water supply is advantageous in itself and for customers, the transfer of operators from a private contractor to Lowndes County should be smooth.
“It should be seamless,” said Eunice. “Contractors have operated the Moody plant since the mid-1960s so all that’s happening now is that the Air Force is paying Lowndes County instead of a different contractor.”
This will save Moody 38 percent compared to previous contracts, which translates to approximately $200,000 per year, or about a million dollars over the life of the contract. Lowndes County saves money by not having to build another treatment plant.
Since the program’s inception in 2013, 53 Air Force installations and their communities have developed more than 1000 initiatives and signed 200 agreements that have generated $39M in Air Force benefit and $24M in community benefit.
“It shows that the local, national, state and federal governments can work together and save the citizens of the United States and [local] community’s money and it’s a good day when you can see that come to the end,” said chairman. “It’s been a team effort to get us to this point and I’m very proud of the work the folks at Lowndes County and the folks at Moody Air Force base did as well.”