Two equipment purchases approved by Public Works Board

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The purchase of two new pieces of equipment for Marshall Municipal Utilities were among the action items approved by the Board of Public Works Thursday, Oct. 13.

A total of $380,000 in budgeted actions were approved, $180,000 of which would go toward the equipment. The board approved a motion to request bids for the purchase of a new mini excavator for the underground facilities use, as well as to approve a bid for the purchase of a small bucket truck for the department of electric distribution.

The new mini excavator would replace a 2005 model 341G Bobcat with approximately 4,200 hours of operation time. Underground Facilities Director Grant Piper reported the unit had been used daily on all water and sewer main projects and maintenance on it was becoming an issue. Piper said the bids would be for a unit with a similar size and design to the old model, which would then be traded in or sold.

Purchasing a second small bucket truck had been tabled from previous meetings, causing the original deadline for a quoted price of $109,303 from Altec to expire. However, Electric Distribution Director Jeff Bergstrom reported Altec had agreed to extend the deadline for that quote to the end of the month. Having budgeted $115,000 toward that item, the board voted to accept that price from Altec and move forward with the purchase. The second truck will allow the department of electric distribution to divide projects such as meter checks or maintenance and LED street light installments between the two vehicles. Bergstrom and General Manager Kyle Gibbs expressed the belief that having the second truck will pay for itself in the amount of money saved by more quickly correcting meters that are undercharging customers.

One other budgeted action to be approved was the continuation of a long-term project to replace overhead single-phase electrical lines with underground lines in walkway easements. The next phase of the project, budgeted at $200,000, will include Englewood Avenue, Yerby Street between Miami and Placida Avenues, the west side of Grant Avenue, and Edsel Avenue south of Summit Street.

In two other actions, the board approved the acceptance of in-house applications for a meter technician / lineman position, and revisions to MMU's Safety Incentive Program. Previously, employees who experienced a recordable injury would lose their eligibility for an annual safety award. The revisions now give those employees the opportunity to restore their eligibility for the award by completing safety-related tasks.

Bergstrom reported everything went well during testing of the meters and re-closer at the MC Power Solar Farm, and a tentative date for the arrays to begin service was set for Monday, Nov. 7.

Contact Arron Hustead at ahustead@marshallnews.com

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