COUNCIL: Utility heads seek $296K in purchases for 2016

By Valerie Urbanik -

Fourteen items worth roughly $296,000 were requested Monday by Wellington’s utility superintendents as part of next year’s capital budget.

The needed items range from a new truck to replacing a roof, a new mower, a water system, planting trees, and repairing sidewalks and driveways.

“Everything’s pretty much needed unfortunately, and unfortunately, it’s all expensive,” village manager Steve Pyles told Wellington council members.

The bulk of the cash and need comes from the village’s electric department.

Pyles’ report to council states the requested purchases are to maintain Wellington’s system, improve aging transmission sections, and replace items that have reached the end of their service.

The top priority on electric superintendent Dave Bealer’s list is treating the village’s high voltage transmission poles to extend their service life, which is expected to cost $30,000.

The most expensive project is $60,000 to keep poles and transformers in stock for new construction or failure outages. Pyles said Wellington upgraded a couple of the poles and transformers this year.

A new four-wheel truck is at the bottom of Bealer’s list and is estimated to cost $30,000. It would be used for the department’s meter reader.

The biggest request from the waste water department is the replacement and upgrade of a panel that monitors, reports, and controls the operation of the plant.

“We’re having a very, very hard time finding parts for it,” Pyles said. Production of parts for the department’s current panel were halted years ago and now are almost impossible to find.

Waste water also want a new mower and an additional $4,000 to go in a replacement fund to fix items that break throughout the year. Pyles said the cash would cover about two-thirds of the items that usually break down.

A new roof on the water department’s office and lab building, a frequency drive controller, and a pure water system for laboratory needs was requested by the water department.

Water and sewer superintendent Mark Rosemark said a variable frequency controller would allow the village to even out the hours of each water pump’s use and extend the life of the pumps.

A smaller water pump has being doing the bulk of the work, Rosemark said: “We’re going to try to make better use of those pumps.”

According to Pyles’ report, multiple testing protocols require a pure system water product or the purchase of water from a certified laboratory.

Buying from a lab is not cost effective or time effective in the long run.

Rosemark said it would be better for the village to generate its own pure water. “It’s time for us to move in that direction,” he said.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-647-3171 or on Twiter @ValUrbanik.

By Valerie Urbanik