Trenton Utility Committee reviews qualifications of two firms for water and sewer rate studies

Trenton Utility Committee

The council committee that oversees Trenton Municipal Utilities on Tuesday evening reviewed the qualifications of two companies interested in doing studies on Trenton water and sewer rates.

TMU staff reviewed the qualifications of Toth and Associates and for Raftelis. Utility director Ron Urton said the staff recommends using Toth and Associates based on good experience with them on the electric rate study and the company is familiar with the TMU system. Urton said Toth and Associates will now prepare a proposal to conduct the studies which also will include the cost of doing the work.

The committee will recommend a policy on seasonal utility services being shut off in an effort to limit what are called frequent water service disconnects and re-connects which costs time and money. The intent is to assist customers who do not occupy their residence for extended periods and thus, don’t use water, sewer, or trash service. Customers can request to have water service disconnected and re-connected with electricity left on, up to two times per calendar year, and TMU will not charge them. But more than two disconnects and connects during the year will have a fee of $75 per trip to the residence. It was noted it will be cheaper for affected customers to pay the base rates and keep water and sewer on each month.

Grundy County Public Water Supply District contacted city officials as to whether TMU could supply 45,000 gallons of water per day for a proposed hog facility in southwest Grundy County. Urton said he replied to the rural water district that yes, TMU could sell more water since the present demand for water is what he called “below capacity” for the system.

Regarding proposed improvements at the Trenton Water Treatment Plant to upgrade aging components there, Urton said the request for proposals on financing is being reviewed before the information is submitted to banks to see what they can offer in terms of an interest rate and length of a loan. He anticipates that will happen in November with financing options to be reviewed by the city council in December.

Three bids were reviewed on installing a new and larger water main to the wastewater treatment plant. The utility committee will recommend the council take the low of $191,203 from Earthworks Excavation of Higginsville. Higher bid amounts came from M and M Utilities and Flinn and Son Excavating.

It was reported electric crews have installed about one thousand of approximately 1,600 electric meters this fiscal year regarding the upgrade to automated metering infrastructure. Water crews have about 200 old water meters remaining to be replaced for the new AMI system.

Two members of the utility committee, David Mlika, and John Dolan, attended the meeting. Reports were given by Utility Director Ron Urton, Comptroller Rosetta Marsh, and TMU department heads Kenny Ricketts, Brad Griffin, Steve Reid, and Bob Hutchinson.