Meeting: Jasper Utility Service Board

The Jasper Utility Service Board met Monday and:

• Opened and tentatively approved the lone bid for two circuit breakers for the electric department’s south tie substation. That bid came from Midwest Utility Sales and was valued at $34,698. It will now undergo a spec review.

• Opened the lone bid for SCADA system improvements for the wastewater department. The bid came in from Toric Engineering of Danville, was valued at $211,600 and was approved pending a spec review.

• Approved declaring inventory items as surplus. The items include non-LED street light bulbs and photo controls that don’t work with the city’s LED lights.

• Heard that a backup generator — which will be used for emergency situations — has been inspected and installed. It is up and operational.

• Renewed a $4,200 agreement with Municipal H20 to assist with the compliance of Environmental Protection Agency risk management programs.

• Approved awarding a bid to Love Excavating for the proposed waterline replacement project on Northwood Avenue. Love Excavating of Huntingburg submitted the low bid at the board’s July meeting at a price of $218,900. Tim Doersam, the city’s gas and water manager, said the utilities would like work to begin in late-August and hopefully be completed by early-November at the latest.

• Heard that fire hydrant flushing will begin on Sept. 14 and usually takes between six and seven weeks to complete throughout the city.

• Heard a recap of the red dye incident that left a creek that connects to the Patoka River bright red earlier this month. The dye did not affect the city’s water plant.

• Approved non-resident gas service for the residence at 1498 E. State Road 164. A roughly 135-foot service line will be installed as part of the project.

• Heard an update on last month’s bid opening regarding the cured-in-place pipe-lining project that was approved at the board’s last meeting. Granite Inliner made an error in their itemized proposal, so the total bid price is $128,690 — $8,000 more than what was approved last month. As approved last month, total work for the project will not exceed a total price tag of $170,000.

• Approved Donohue & Associates to complete work for the renewal of the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The total cost is $22,500 and that permit is renewed every five years.

• Approved annual capital asset disposal authorizations. Items on the list are ones that utility managers would like to either scrap or auction.

• Approved a resolution that updates payment methods for utility bills in the utility business office to include credit and debit cards. Office leadership is currently working to bring those payment methods to the list but have not yet pulled the trigger.

• Heard that the state’s utility disconnection moratorium was lifted on Friday. Past-due balances will be charged to customers over the next six months in evenly distributed increments. The first payment will be issued on August bills.

• Heard an update on the city’s advanced metering infrastructure project. Bud Hauersperger, the city’s general utility manager, said he hopes to bring a recommendation to the board to pick a company to complete the work at the board’s September meeting.

• Heard that Mark Fierst has been hired as the utilities’ new controller. The current controller will work with Fierst through September.

• Heard an update on the water sales and territory agreements between the Jasper utilities and Ireland water utilities. Following a recent discussion, Ireland did not agree to the most recent terms that Jasper proposed. The Jasper water committee will dig into the agreement and bring a revised recommendation to the utility service board, explained City Attorney Renee Kabrick.

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