Cloverdale looks toward sewage plant improvements

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council learned just how many improvements are needed to have a fully sustainable sewer plant on Tuesday evening during its monthly meeting.

Scott Creagan of Utility Management and Construction, who was recently hired to take run the sewer plant for one year at a cost of $42,000, came before the council with 13 items he has found within the past month that need to be addressed in the near future.

"We did get violations from that inspection," Creagan said. "They're typical violations we've had in the past -- overflows. The inspector wasn't happy with lift station one and lift station six -- since they're out in the middle of nowhere and nobody is there to hear the buzzers or see the lights if they're flashing. So, he is wanting me to get quotes on satellite/wireless alarms."

He noted that the town does not have need to purchase the new alarms right away, but presented quotes he had collected for the council's consideration.

"Baby steps is my theory," Creagan said. "There's no reason to spend a bunch of money at one time. I've had these at other plants I've worked at. They're very helpful on cutting down in overtime with call-outs and stuff. It has a computer screen it can bring up, whatever lift station has that device on it, you can look at it and see what's going on. It really helps on delegating a call out because if you get a call at 4 a.m. saying that there is a pump that's down and you know that it takes that station seven hours to fill up, there's no reason to send someone out then -- just wait until working hours."

Along with the violations, Creagan advised that half the plant was shut off when they took over.

"For some reason one aeration side was off and one of the clarifier's was offline," Creagan said. "Our plant is built for a maximum 2.5 million gallons a day. Having those two things shut off, you're shutting off half the plant. So, the entire plant is now completely up and running."

Creagan also advised that with the recent rains, the plant has also not exhibited any overflows yet in large part for due to turning the other half of the plant online.

It was also noted that lift station three is now down to just one pump.

"It's an older one that's in a manhole," Creagan said. "The other pump is completely shot, it does not work. It had a seal fail. So, one pump is completely out in there. I'm working on getting information to replace that pump."

It was also noted that lift station six, near the Marathon station, is also down to one pump as well.

"Pump two was pulled today," noted. "I got a called from one of the guys today saying that there was no power to the station. Well today, the pump burnt up, and when it burnt up it didn't only trip our breaker, but it tripped Duke's main breaker on the backside of the station. So, we are down to one pump out there and the other pump out there will need to be serviced -- it's worn. You can see just by watching it, that that pump needs service bad."

Creagan advised that he is also currently waiting to hear back from BBC Pump on just how much it would cost to buy new or to refurbish.

It was also noted that three flow meters have been fixed and arrived Wednesday to be installed. However, there are still two more that need to be worked on to have all back up and running.

Creagan also noted that he is trying to establish a preventative maintenance plan with BBC Pump.

"I'm going to try to work it out where they come up to a lift station a month or every other month," Creagan explained. "They'll come out pull the pumps, check them, service them, inspect the panel and that way we can get on a preventative maintenance plan. That way, we can get all of our pumps up to the service quality they need to be at and pumping at what they need to be pumping at."

Creagan ended his presentation by advising the board that the overall goal he has for the coming year or so, is to get everything energy efficient and running like it needs to be. He also added that he will be meeting with the town's engineer in the coming weeks in hopes of creating a 5-10 year plan.

Cloverdale Town Marshal Mike Clark also came before the council to give an update on the simulator training that not only Cloverdale officers completed, but those from Greencastle Police Department and the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.

"That was paid for by our insurance company," Clark explained. "We had a firearms training simulator along with a driving simulator."

The benefit to having those simulator trainings available for officers was that it provided more of a real experience versus shooting at targets, for example.

"We can go to the range and practice shooting all day long, but you can practice shoot and no shoot scenarios," Clark explained. "A couple of you came in and saw, you have to make a decision like that and it really helps train you on doing it."

Clark also advised the board that Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter has offered to buy the Cloverdale Police Department body cameras.

"As long as there's no objections from the council, the prosecutor is willing to buy us body cameras to wear," Clark added. "I've attempted several grants, but because they're such a big item right now there's not a lot of grants out there. It's really competitive."

With the council having no objections, Clark was advised to proceed with the ordering of the cameras.

"It will eliminate any questions," Town Attorney Allen Yackey said. "Ideally, if the force is trained as I think it is, it will eliminate a lot of need for defensive cases and in the event that somebody does step outside the line, it will make the case a lot easier."

On a brighter note, Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Galloway came before the council to advise just how greatly the raising of the utility rates has affected the town.

"I started going through some of our bank funds and kind of compared how we were doing in 2012 to 2014," Galloway explained. "Just to kind of toot our horn a little bit -- sewage utility operations was at -$114,960.23. When we raised the rates, within four months we were at -$82,922.51 and as of January of this year, we are in the black $242,450.12. This is one of the reasons we were able to come and decrease our utility rates again. We're watching it and it's holding pretty steady."

Superintendent of Public Works Chuck Knuf also came before the council to give a brief update on the most recent IDEM inspection.

"On Aug. 21 we had an inspection from IDEM and on Sept. 4 we got the report," Knuf explained. "We fixed everything that's on that report. Everything has been taken care of. There was a thing with Richard's (Saucerman) emergency management, a meter in the press room and a few more."

Knuf also noted that there is a section on Robert Weist, on the east side of the railroad tracks, that is collapsing.

"We're going to have to block the road off," Knuf said. "We'll have to saw it all the way across and just run a new piece of pipe."

It is not yet clear what day the road will be closed for the patching. However, Knuf noted that he will attempt to wait until the grain harvest is completed.

Knuf also received approval for the purchase of 100 tons of salt at a cost of $94.27/ton.

In other business:

*The council also approved the adoption of the 2015 budget through Ordinance 2014-27.

*The council opened sealed bids for the 1997 Ford utility truck. The council went with a bid of $5,100 from J&M Contracting.

* The council also opened bids for the renovation of the town hall, which was awarded to T.J. Farrer at a cost of $78,500.

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