Thursday, September 24, 2009
Utility department to seek savings
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Utility Department was given permission by the board of aldermen to advertise for a professional energy audit of the electric, gas and water systems to help identify possible savings of lost product over the metering systems.
General manager John Collins said he believes a lot of loss is through the metering system.
If a study indicates that product is being lost, Collins said the utility would proceed to change out old meters.
The utility will be required by 2012 to automate electric system metering, he said.
Collins asked the board for permission to make some other changes at the utility including looking into the cost of going to a call center for after-hours calls. He also asked to develop a right-of-way clearing contract that would both provide a better job of keeping rights-of-way clean and cut costs. The board authorized Collins to develop a list of specifications to go into a contract for the services and then to put the service out for bids.
Collins asked aldermen for permission to upgrade the security system at the utility. And he was authorized to put surplus equipment, mostly worn-out vehicles, out to be sold for scrap.
He said he wants to promote two groundsmen to apprentice linemen and to keep people in the pipeline to move up to journeyman linemen.
“It gives existing employees an opportunity to move up in skill,” he said.
Aldermen authorized Collins to seek vendors for quotes on fire-retardant clothing and general clothing to be worn on the job by utility workers.
The board then approved electric, water, and gas rates to become effective October 1, 2009.
Public Works director Don Hollingsworth presented several resolutions necessary to the maintenance of a five rating for the water system. The resolution to fund and maintain the city water, sewer and gas is required in order for the city to continue to receive monies from Rural Development’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).
The city has maintained a five rating on its water system as inspected by the Mississippi State Board of Health and has provided fluoridated water since the construction of the system in the 1940s, he said. Fluoride-treated water helps harden enamel on teeth and prevent cavities.
Hollingsworth requested, and the board approved, a 40-day extension to Union Construction for completion of West Boundary Extended. Hollingsworth said the extension of the contract was necessary due to the delay of the work caused by the city having to relocate utility lines in the area. The utility relocations slowed down the contractor’s progress through no fault of his own, Hollingsworth said.
Alderman Garrie Colhoun asked if the street would have sidewalks and street lights. Hollingsworth said it would. He told Colhoun the site for the location of the new water well, tower and treatment plant will have to be selected through the bid process.
He said several test wells would have to be drilled to determine a suitable site.
Following this discussion the board approved a lot cleanup hearing on a property on Park Avenue and discussed sending city employees to clean around the exterior of the Compress building.
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