Meeting: Jasper Utility Service Board

The Jasper Utility Service Board met Monday and:

• Held a moment of silence for water commissioner Rick Stradtner, who died last month.

• Opened quotes for a loader backhoe for the wastewater department. The low quote came from Diamond Equipment of Evansville at a total price of $14,856 after trade-in. The board approved the purchase, pending a spec review.

• Opened a quote for a wastewater lining project. The lone bid came from Granite Inliner of Orleans and was valued at $21,800. The work will see the removal of an object lodged in a 15-inch waterline and the relining of that line. The board approved the bid, pending a spec review.

• Heard that a previously approved bid for the purchase of an electric utility locator from C&S Solutions of Harrison, Ohio, was revised. Upon review of the specs, the final cost of the locator was $63 cheaper and came to $9,155.

• Heard that the utilities have contacted Green Earth Technologies, the company that salvaged the old power plant, informing Green Earth of several outstanding project deficiencies. These include site issues, equipment returns and bills that need to be addressed before the project is officially closed out.

• Approved the purchase of chemicals for water treatment. A long list of bids was presented at the board’s November meeting, and the low bid for each chemical was approved.

• Heard an update on the south-side water tank rehabilitation project. The outside has been painted, a mixer has been installed inside and the inside is being painted. The project will be completed by the end of the month.

• Retroactively approved non-resident water and gas connections for residents at 4260 N. Beth Lane.

• Approved the terms of a program that will facilitate the relocation of gas lines underneath residential buildings, sheds and garages across the city in 2019 and 2020. Using a cost-share analysis, the board approved the details of the program: For current homeowners who purchased their homes after any structure was installed above a gas line, the city will provide labor to have the lines removed, and the homeowner will pay for welding charges and material costs.

• Heard and approved 2020 estimated capital expenditure plans for the various utilities. The wastewater plan is valued at about $1.57 million, the anticipated price tag of the gas plan is $389,950, the water plan is estimated to cost $591,950, the electric plan came out to about $1 million, and the business office plan is valued at $49,500.

• Approved writing off $14,040.40 in bad utility debt. Out of an estimated $40.6 million in sales in 2019, the bad debt writeoff represents .035% of those sales.

• Heard an update on business office collection activities for the year. In 2019, 29 collections letters were sent, and of them, 16 small claims were filed. After court costs, the total amount the utilities collected this year was $10,324.52. Also, $1,274.25 in delinquent account funds was collected from the tax refund exchange and compliance system program.

• Heard that due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day falling on the board’s normal meeting date in January, next month’s meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the council chambers at City Hall, 610 Main St.

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