Water plant cost slashed by $160,000
Clinton’s new water treatment plant was reduced in price by almost $160,000 Tuesday night when the City Council approved a change order eliminating the number of membranes that will be needed in the reverse osmosis water filtering process.
The savings by not buying as many membranes as were in the original plans was $159,907. It reduced the total price charged by the contractor, Wynn Construction of Oklahoma City, to just under $14.4 million.
“These are membranes we did not purchase,” said Lonnie Teel, the city’s consultant on the project.
“Did you not tell me they have a shelf life and beyond that there’s no warranty?” asked City Manager Mark Skiles.
“Probably 90 days. After that it’s no good,” replied Teel. “If you take care of the ones you have, they should last you 10 to 12 years.”
Councilman Don Rodolph moved to accept the change order, and Chuy Rosales seconded. Councilmen Jason Hulin and Bobby Stewart also voted yes, as did Mayor David Berrong.
The mayor recalled a time when there was a break in the water line going to the tower on the Mars Petcare property and it took a couple of days to find the break. He wanted to know if the new plant had a feature that would help with that.
“Yes, sir,” answered Teel. “If it (the water level in the tower) drops more than three feet with no pump on it, an alarm goes off. It will notify you through text and phone call.”
Skiles asked Teel to illustrate how easy things about the new plant will be to control by using his phone to change something. However, the consultant declined.
“It’s running really well,” he said. “I don’t want to mess with it.”
Teel also talked about the hardness of the water being produced at the new plant. He said it has a pH level of 8.
“That’s what they want,” he said.
One contractor the Clinton Daily News found on the Internet, ATS Environmental of New Jersey, said pure water has a pH value of 7 and is considered neutral. It said water is considered hard when its pH is above 8.5.
Councilman Stewart brought up another subject that wasn’t on the agenda – the height of weeds permitted under the city’s new ordinance that was passed at the Sept. 4 meeting which he acknowledged he missed.
“Do we need to reduce it to six inches (which the ordinance did) when we as the city couldn’t keep up with it when it was twelve inches?” he asked. “Are we going to have to get Toby (Anders, code enforcement officer) to give us a citation?”
Mayor Berrong said the city has the responsibility to provide the same type of landscaping it asks of the citizens. But he had a much longer answer to another question Stewart asked concerning what kind of background checks are done on people like new Clinton Economic Developer Roland Mower whose hiring was announced at that same Sept. 4 meeting which Stewart missed.
Berrong said the weed ordinance was prepared by Code Enforcement Officer Anders, City Manager Skiles, and City Attorney Ryan Meacham. He indicated the city’s new Beautification Committee also had a say in it.
As for the economic developer, Berrong said a Clinton Economic Development Authority was formed (with him as a non-voting ex officio member) and after nine months it came to the conclusion that Mower was the best person for the job. He said that was after a “knowledgeable” headhunting company was hired by another group of people “you” (the council) approved. “They were hired with private money to go out and search the country,” he said, which included doing both professional and criminal background checks.
Berrong said the headhunters put “a great deal of insight into every candidate presented to us, and there were five of them.”
“I thought they were going to talk to the council,” said Stewart.
“That was done last week (at the meeting Stewart missed),” said Berrong.
“I move we adjourn,” said Councilman Rodolph. “I second that,” said Stewart.
The meeting then broke up about 7:30 p.m., approximately two hours after it started.