The Fredericktown City Council was presented with a grant check for the amount $54,035 from the Missouri Public Energy pool at its bi-monthly meeting, Jan. 26.
“In the Missouri Public Energy Pool, or MoPEP, Fredericktown is one of 35 cities of MPUA (Missouri Public Utility Alliance) and we had an opportunity a few years ago to do some refinancing,” MPUA Electric Production Engineer Miek Siefert said. “That gave us about $2.4 million back to the pool, and it allowed us the opportunity to, among the 35 members, give that money back in awarding grants for those folks to use to help upgrade their electric systems.”
According to MPUA, the grant money will be used to offset some of the cost of improvements to the electrical distribution system, including part of the cost for utility poles and lines used for an ongoing project to upgrade the city’s distribution system voltage from 2,400 volts to 7,200 volts.
“Fredericktown’s upgrades will help improve the system’s reliability,” President and General Manager of the MPUA Duncan Kincheloe said. “Projects like Fredericktown’s that enhance local infrastructure also help make the entire MoPEP partnership more reliable and efficient.”
Siefert said 2018 was a really good year for the two turbines which ran 600 hours which is up from only 120 hours in the first two years.
“Market prices were up and demand was high so they really saw a lot of value,” Siefert said.
During the work session the council heard from Water Plant Supervisor Junior Shell regarding an emergency repair to an underwater intake structure at the water plant.
“The amount of water that we pump into the plant was severely going down,” Shell said. “We usually get 1,000 to 1,040 gallons a minute and it was down to 600 gallons a minute.”
Shell said they believed it could have been caused by leaves from the strong north winds, but after working to remove them, it was quickly discovered it was more of an emergency situation.
“That had us call divers in to evaluate it and see if they could get inside them and suck it out,” Shell said. “They came up and found out there were four openings in the outside of the intake structure that allows lake water to go into the pump area. Two of the windows were completely covered with silt.”
Shell said a six-man team with six pumps and high pressure hoses worked 18 foot under water to clear the problem.
“It shows how much that lake has filled in over the years,” City Administrator James Settle said.
The council approved payment for the emergency repairs.
In other business, the aldermen approved three travel requests. City Clerk Bimbi Lopez will be attending the Annual MoCCFOA Spring Institute in March, Airport Manager Kemp will be attending the Annual Airport Managers Conference in April and Building Inspector Richard Macke will attend the Annual Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association.
Mayor Kelly Korokis said she was very proud of the accomplishments of Lopez reminding the council that she had received a scholarship to help offset the expenses of her travel request because of the great work she has been doing.
The council then revisited the discussion concerning Village Creek Bridge on City Lake Road. The council agreed to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Madison County as a way to work together and replace the bridge. The agreement will have Madison County paying for the engineering and the city will be using the county’s engineer. The project bid is not to exceed $130,000 and will be for a two-lane bridge with no weight limit.
Shell also requested for approval of a bid to replace the north side roof of the west building at the water treatment plant. Shell said the expense was budgeted for the year and that he would like to see it fixed before a substantial rain comes and ends up damaging some of the equipment. After some discussion among the aldermen regarding the significant differences in the two bids received, they approved the bid from Sargent Construction Company.
In regular session business, the council approved two ordinances and a resolution.
The ordinance regarding city sales tax on domestic utilities required clarification from City Attorney Mary Boner.
“Apparently when the city passes a sales tax, in order for it to apply to domestic utilities, after it is passed by voters this board has to say they want it to apply that tax to domestic utilities,” Boner said.
The second ordinance extended dates to an agreement concerning the airport improvement. The resolution established authorized signatures for accounts at Ozark Federal Savings.
The next meeting of the Fredericktown City Council will be Feb. 11 immediately following the 5:30 p.m. work session.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org