"Providing Hometown Reliability"
The Board of Public Works convened in regular session at 8:30 a.m. at the Marshall Municipal Utilities Business Office. Board members present were Spencer Fricke, President; Chuck Hird, Vice President; Ken Bryant, Secretary; Steve Mills, Member. Also present was Dave Haugland; City Administrator.
The agenda was approved as presented on a motion by Mr. Hird, seconded by Mr. Bryant. The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed on a motion by Mr. Mills, seconded by Mr. Bryant.
Underground Facilities Director Grant Piper presented the Board a request to seek bids for the purchase of a new mini excavator. The current excavator is a 2005 model; it has a high number of hours on it and is in need of repairs. The old unit will be traded in or sold for a new unit of the same size and design. On a motion made by Mr. Mills, seconded by Mr. Bryant, the Board requested to see what it will cost to get the current one back in running order as well as an exact trade-in value, and approved to request bids for the purchase of a new mini excavator.
Director Piper then updated the Board on various other projects. The Annual Fire Hydrant Flushing will be done October 23rd through October 27th. A notice will be published in the local newspaper and also be aired on the local radio. The North English Lift Station has had the walls poured and the top cut off the old reservoir. The sink hole in the alley behind the southside of the Square, between Lafayette Ave. and Jefferson Ave was repaired October 12th.
Electric Distribution Director Jeff Bergstrom requested the Board's approval to purchase a small bucket truck. A new truck would make crews available to keep current on meter testing and maintenance. A quote from Altec, through the government cooperative purchasing program, National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) has been received in the amount for $109,303, good through the end of October. On a motion made by Mr. Bryant, seconded by Mr. Hird, the Board approved to purchase a new bucket truck from Altec for $109,303.
Director Bergstrom then asked the Board to approve opening a position and accepting in-house applications for a Meter Technician/Lineman position. There are currently two (2) Meter Technician/Lineman positions in the department, but one of those is eligible for retirement. Due to the amount of time it takes to train for this skilled labor position, he would like to begin that process. On a motion made by Mr. Hird, seconded by Mr. Mills, the Board approved to accept in-house applications for one Meter Technician/Lineman position.
Director Bergstrom also asked to continue the overhead to underground conversion. This saves on outages and tree trimming expense. The crews are working on and will soon complete a short section between Edsel St. and Grant Ave. The next area that he would like to do is an area of Englewood St. and Yerby St between Miami Ave. and Placida Ave., and the west side of Grant Ave. and Edsel St. from Summit St. south. On a motion made by Mr. Mills, seconded by Mr. Bryant, the Board approved the overhead to underground conversion on Englewood Ave. and Yerby St between Miami Ave. and Placida Ave, and the west side of Grant Ave. and Edsel St. from Summit St. south.
Director Bergstrom then updated the Board on a few other projects. MC Power Solar Farm transformer has been energized and the re-closer tested. The tentative date for putting it in service is November 7th. Eastwood Bridge street light has had a section of conduit come loose. Temporary repairs have been made until the proper equipment can be rented or borrowed to make the proper repair. Poor Boy Tree Service will be here October 17th to begin trimming trees. Pole inspection will begin November 7th, and hope to be complete by November 23rd.
Employee Relations Manager Megan Baldridge provided the Board information on the Safety Incentive Program. Currently, employees lose eligibility for an annual safety award if they experience a recordable injury. The program has been revised to allow those who have had a recordable injury to become eligible by completing a few safety related tasks. On a motion made by Mr. Bryant, seconded by Mr. Hird, the Board approved the revisions to the Safety Incentive Program, effective immediately.
Manager Baldridge gave an update on the Employee Health Benefits. Enrollment applications were transmitted to insurance carriers October 4th. As of today, one underwritten quote has been received. Proposals for dental, vision, disability and life coverage are being reviewed. There were five vendors who sent proposals for the FR Clothing Provider/Allowance Based Order Management. Several have arranged demonstrations and she hopes to have a recommendation soon. There has been a conditional offer made for the Fleet Mechanic, pending the pre-employment procedure. The Employee Appreciation Lunch has been rescheduled for October 25th.
Electric Production Director Jim Johnson reported on unit #6 controls upgrade. The unit was taken out-of-service October 3rd, the old controls and generator protective relays have been torn out and are starting to replace with new. It should be ready to test in 2-3 weeks. Our insurance carrier has denied the claim on unit #4. Their report showed that a burner plug valve was installed incorrectly, this could have happened as much as 10 years ago. And they also found that a disconnect switch to the FD fan was off. The combination of these two errors allowed gas to build up in the FD fan duct work and boiler firebox. The building is under repair.
Administrative Services Director Ken Gieringer noted he is getting ready for the annual audit, to be done at the end of the month. And, they are in process of getting easements and have requested locates for the YY fiber expansion.
Environmental Services Director Ginny Ismay updated the Board of the THM reduction project. A pre-bid meeting was held on October 6th, four general contractors and several sub-contractors attended. She hopes to have several bids for evaluation. She discussed a water rate comparison chart that General Manager Gibbs provided and encouraged them to review and bring questions back to the next meeting.
General Manager Kyle Gibbs updated the Board on the MPUA broadband task force meeting. It was held to develop a strategy for the next legislative session. The large communications companies want legislation on restricting a municipality from starting a new internet department. It wouldn't affect those that already have them. They want to allow small wireless services to be connected to utility poles at minimal cost. Also, want to be allowed better right-of-way access for their equipment.
A pre-bid meeting for the warehouse and wastewater maintenance building bids will be October 14th, with bids due by October 28th. The plans are listed on the Drexel Technologies drawing room site for prospective bidders. So far there have been 10 sets downloaded.
Unit #4 has sustained significant damage from the recent explosion. Management feels the unit should not be repaired due to the high cost and the probability that DNR or EPA will put additional regulations on coal units that would make us shut the steam units down anyway. The MoPEP Pool doesn't need the unit. There is little life left on both units #4 and #5, they were made to be ran continuously. They have a longer start-up time, they are vintage 1955 and 1966, and require more training of staff, which requires the units to be started. Unit #5 is capable of running, but has been used very little for several years. With several pending retirements of the staff who run these units, the knowledge they have will be leaving with them. Management feels unit #4 should be decommissioned and disassembled. It will take several years to accomplish this and all staff will be utilized during this process. On a motion made by Mr. Mills, seconded by Mr. Hird, the Board approved management's decision to not rebuild unit #4, and to notify MoPEP of MMU's intent to decommission unit #4.
On a motion by Mr. Mills, seconded by Mr. Bryant, accounts payable were approved and warrants ordered issued from the following funds:
WATER OPERATING FUND $177,784.61 ELECTRIC OPERATING FUND $ 1,676,177.50 SEWER REVENUE FUND $ 245,237.14 INTERNET OPERATING FUND $ 30,382.28 NATURAL GAS OPERATING FUND $ 2,371.06 ELECTRIC CONSUMER DEPOSIT FUND $ 9,650.00 Total $ 2,141,602.59
The next Regular Board meeting will be Thursday November 3, 2016.
On a motion by Mr. Bryant, seconded by Mr. Hird, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the regular meeting at 9:57 a.m.