Meeting: Jasper Utility Service Board

Jasper Utility Service Board met Monday and:

• Welcomed Brian Hostetter to the board. He will take over as gas commissioner after Michael Kern moved out of the city.

• Opened bids for the water line project on U.S. 231. The engineering department took the bids under advisement. The project precedes paving work that the Indiana Department of Transportation has planned for 2019.

• Heard that the electric department has been working to add infrastructure to the north side of town to improve reliability.

• Heard that the electric distribution accounts will be closed and merged with other electric department accounts after the 15th Street Power Plant is demolished. The board approved a quote from Indianapolis-based accountants H.J. Umbaugh Associates to help with the process for an amount not to exceed $1,800.

• Approved a recommendation to the Common Council to increase the salary range of electric lineman to bring it in line with other local municipal departments. This does not mean that current salaries will be increased.

• Heard that the electric department pays the electric bill for street lights in the city that are serviced by private electric companies. The committee thinks the civil city, which is funded by property taxes, should pay those bills rather than the electric department, which is funded through the electric rates paid by municipal electric customers. The electric committee, Mayor Terry Seitz and Common Council will discuss how to move forward.

• Heard that demolition on the 15th Street Power Plant is beginning. Once the demolition is finished, the property will be transferred to the Jasper Street Department and the Jasper Parks Department. The street department uses the old coal bins to store road salt, and the parks department will manage the Riverwalk parking lot on the property.

• Approved the wastewater department to seek quotes for a repair on the sewer line in Valley View Estates where erosion has damaged the lines. The project will include stabilizing the creek bank that is causing the issue.

• Heard that the wastewater department’s emergency generator will be installed next week. The board approved a two-year service agreement for the generator with Cummins, Inc. of Columbus, Indiana, which is the manufacturer.

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