By MARK EVANS
Some things got accomplished at the Sept. 14 Bloomsdale Board of Aldermen meeting even though there was no quorum.
With Ward 2 Alderman Brandon Shortt being the only alderman to show up, he, Mayor Paul Monia, city clerk Lynnette Randoll and water superintendent John Lurk discussed the upcoming $1.9 million water project with Cochran Engineering representatives for nearly an hour.
David Van Leer and T.J. Garbs were again there for Cochran, the firm that will be doing the massive project.
Van Leer went over various styles for the 250,000-gallon water tower that will replace the current 75,000-gallon standpipe.
A multi-legged structure would cost about $875,000, while a tank on a pedestal would be around $950,000. A third option, called a composite, would have a concrete stem with the tank on top of it. That would run in the $1.1 million neighborhood.
They showed Monia and Shortt photos of each style.
Monia said he liked the multi-leg appearance best.
They also went over likely timelines.
On the distribution end, the water mains to transport and distribute the water from the tank, plans should be done and sent to contractors by Jan. 12, 2022. The bid opening would be on Feb. 8 and should be awarded on March 8. Van Leer said he would then hope to see a notice to proceed issued by May 1, with a July 5 target date for completion.
Concerning the water tank/tower part of the project, plans should go out to contractors Nov. 1 of this year, with a bid opening about Dec. 14.
The target date for the notice to proceed would be March 1, with a completion date target of Nov. 13, 2022.
Monia said he was pleased with how things are moving along.
He noted that “as big a hurry as I’m in,” the farther the project is stretched out, the more money will be generated to help pay for it.
“We’re going the right direction,” he said, “and we have a timeline.”
Van Leer also discussed the possibility of using plug-in, radio-read meters. This would make it much quicker and easier for meter readers to check meters – especially in bad weather.
One brand would run $230 per meter (less per unit on larger orders), with a one-time set-up and training fee and a $1,200 a year software fee.
Monia asked if many cities Bloomsdale’s size use this type of service. Van Leer said Bloomsdale would be “one of the smaller ones.”
Monia seemed interested in this possibility, due to the lack of train it would put on meter readers.
“I’m looking into the future,” he said. “John [Lurk] is a retired individual that has a respect for Bloomsdale, likes to be a part of it, and he’s part-time. He’s not worrying about insurance, he’s not worrying about anything. He’s wanting something to do on a part-time basis. Finding that kind of qualified people continuously is going to be hard to do. Then you throw in a rotten job like that … most of the time the job’s in the water department, when you’ve got an issue, it’s a rotten job. It’s muddy, it’s cold or really hot. It’s never ideal. I think if you can at least entertain that thought, it’s worth it.”
Van Leer said they can “continue the conversation” on radio-controlled meters as they get further into the project.
He noted that these meters are expected to have an active life of about 15 years.
Monia also reported that he had spoken to a local bank about financing the project and found their response “comforting.” Van Leer had information from another potential bank in the area.