Carroll-Boone facing equipment upgrades and repairs

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The Carroll-Boone Water District board met July 15 with all board members present, in addition to Plant Manager Barry Connell and CBWD consulting engineers Bill Hammond and Chris Hall.

Office Manager Cathy Klein noted cash assets of $1,490.25. She said that the truck fleet is aging, in need of increasing maintenance, and consideration should be given to purchasing new vehicles.

It was reported that a chlorine shortage has been forecast by the government, so costs may rise for water treatment. Last year’s chlorine prices rose by 11 cents per pound, and natural gas prices are also predicted to increase.

A power generator re-build is expected to cost $43,181. CBWD had to rent a generator recently while another was off-line for repairs. Connell noted the generator had to be re-built due to overuse during the winter cold spell.

“Our old generator was completely knocked out of service,” he said, adding that the repair has resulted in the two generators synchronizing better than previously.

Connell stated that recent usage has been stable, with no extreme peaks. Regarding pump cleaning, he said “We’ve done it every year on a three-year contract. I think we can stretch that to a four-year contract and do our cleaning every other year… we have not had a really good thorough cleaning in about three years now.”

There have been delays getting parts for the pump. For the east pump, new ammonia feed equipment is being considered because much of the equipment is 30-40 years old. Addition of a second pump as a backup was recommended and will be considered in October.

Watching the bottom line

The Engineers’ report included requests for new equipment funding. In general, there are more unexpected increased expenses than unanticipated cost savings. Referring to the raw water improvement stations project, Hall said, “It’s been a very informative, very tough project.”

The total budget including cross change orders and construction will meet the anticipated $485,607. Expenses included an increase in engineering fees past the $85,000 quoted two meetings ago. There are other expenses not previously anticipated attributed to the age of the existing equipment. About $100,000 discovered in redundant tax charges resulted in some offsetting cost savings, and the engineers said they want to take a proactive approach in order to avoid future cost overruns and unexpected expenses.

Planned capital improvements will replace old equipment with new, avoiding frequent repairs and rentals. A 15–20-year life for the new equipment is expected.

In talks with some of the cities serviced, Memorandums of Understanding were broached, with an expected five cents per thousand gallons price increase, possibly as high as 10 cents per thousand. This would result in an increase of approximately 20 cents a month to 40 cents a month for a family of four.

The next meeting will be October 21.

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