Meeting: Jasper Utility Service Board

The Jasper Utility Service Board met Monday and:

• Approved annual membership dues for the Indiana Municipal Electric Association for 2020. Total, the dues amounted to $13,636.27.

• Approved sending out 7,000 water quality reports to residents. Mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the total cost of sending the reports is $5,438.

• Approved the inspection of the cathodic protection for the Newton Street water tank. The protection helps reduce the corrosion inside the tank.

• Heard that a permanent, part-time custodian and maintenance worker has been hired. Also heard that the drain at Beaver Lake has been closed.

• Heard the results of a gas rate study. Under the recommended changes, some fixed rates would increase, but other variable costs would decrease and offset the difference, and the average homeowner customer would see “pretty much a wash,” over the course of the year, General Utilities Manager Bud Hauersperger told the board. The utility service board will take action on the resolution next month, after which it would go to the Jasper Common Council for final approval before potentially going into effect this summer.

• Approved beginning the hiring process for a lab technician at the wastewater plant.

• Approved the utilities to retain the services of Taft law firm of Indianapolis to track down documentation of potentially hazardous as well as construction and demolition materials removed from the site of the old power plant. The plant was deconstructed and salvaged by Green Earth Technologies of Wilmington, Delaware, who has not supplied the documentation. City Attorney Renee Kabrick explained that the move will “start laying the foundation for future action,” if necessary. The cost for the utilities’ contract with Taft will not exceed $5,000.

• Heard that the mayors of Jasper and Huntingburg will issue executive orders that temporarily freeze the disconnection of utility services. The USB voiced support for that move by passing an affirming motion Monday night, and the Jasper Common Council will discuss it at its monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at City Hall, 610 Main St. The Jasper Common Council could potentially extend the disconnection freeze through April 18 for city customers.

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