Board of Works gives green light for new WWTP office

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Operating with vehicles 15 or more years old in an office built as a sewer plant 35 years ago, the Greencastle Wastewater Department has received approval to move its accommodations into the 21st century.

At its April meeting, the Greencastle Board of Works and Safety approved the purchase of two new trucks for the Wastewater Department, along with two new vehicles for the City Water Department.

The board also unanimously agreed to engage Curry & Associates Engineers, Danville, for the design of a new utilities building to replace the 1980 wastewater structure on West Columbia Street that has been used by the Wastewater Department as an office in recent years.

The new building is "something the City Council has expressed interest in moving forward on," Greencastle Mayor Bill Dory said before fellow Board of Works members Craig Tuggle and Trudy Selvia made the motion unanimous to proceed with the design work.

City Clerk-Treasurer Lynda Dunbar noted that the city budget includes $750,000 for a new building for the WWTP.

Currently the wastewater staff uses the old control building as an office, which requires maintenance of a building much larger than necessary. Heating and cooling the old building is a costly all-or-nothing proposition as well, employees said.

The heat runs all the time or not at all, Oscar King noted, calling the structure -- which also has reported moisture and mold issues -- "just a bad building."

Instead, the department has its designs on a 3,500- to 4,200-square-foot facility to house its offices and a lab.

Lori Young of Curry & Associates said the goal is to create a "modest building" to meet the utility department's needs for office and lab space.

The first step, she said, is to design the structure and "get some good cost estimates."

"We need a true working building," board member Selvia suggested, cautioning however that there is a difference between "what we can have, what we can afford and what we can do."

Mayor Dory made the motion to move forward on the facility design.

Meanwhile, the utility vehicle purchases will include a pair of 4WD cab-and-a-half work trucks purchased from low bidder Bob Bowen Ford, Brazil, for the Waste water Department at $25,997, and a 4WD Chevrolet crew cab, purchased from York Automotive, Greencastle, at $29,392, for the Water Department. The water staff will also get a cab-and-a-half work truck.

Originally, the Utility Department had requested six new vehicles for 2016, the mayor noted. For now, the total is set at four, but should it be possible to add a third truck for each department, the city will look at those additional trucks being the two-wheel-drive variety with regular cabs.

The vehicles are to be purchased on a three-year lease-to-purchase basis.

The new trucks will eliminate a 1998 Ford and a 2002 Dodge Ram at the Wastewater Department, along with a 2000 GMC and a 2004 Dodge Ram at the water utility.

In other business, the Board of Works approved an $8,975 contract for inspection of the city water standpipe by Liquid Engineering Corp.

The standpipe, built near Forest Hill Cemetery in 1979-80, has not been inspected for six years, Water Department spokesman Ed Phillips said. He added that experts recommend it be inspected every three to five years.

The inspection contract was unanimously approved after a motion by Selvia.

The board also unanimously endorsed Greencastle Police Chief Tom Sutherlin's recommendation that GPD Officers Josh Smith and Brad Hiatt be taken off the one-year probationary status that accompanies the start of their career.

Probationary status will be lifted on the officers' respective one-year anniversary dates. For Smith that is May 4, while it is May 12 for Hiatt.

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