Gallatin Board of Aldermen approve motion regarding electric rates; update provided regarding freezing water meters

Gallatin City Hall

The Gallatin Board of Aldermen approved a motion regarding electric rates on Monday evening, February 22nd.

The motion was to clarify that any business outside of a commercially zoned area that is required to possess a valid business license will be required to pay a commercial electric rate for the property that is used for the business. Customers fed through a three-phase electrical service but are using the property for residential use only will be charged at a residential rate.

Toth Engineering is working on the electrical rate study. City Administrator Lance Rains hopes to have the results in 30 to 45 days.

Rains, City Clerk Hattie Rains, and Public Works Director Mark Morey met with an engineer to discuss the re-engineering of the 2400 system. Morey said new transformers and poles will need to be purchased and installed in the redesign, but some wire will be reused.

There was a discussion on customers within the city limits that have the ability to hook up to the sewer but have not. The board agreed residents are required to pay for sewer usage going forward, according to the use of public sewer required for residents adopted in 2004.

There was also discussion on the estimated street resurfacing bids. Morey will contact one of the contractors to clarify the approximate tons of usage before the next meeting. City Administrator Rains reported there is $145,000 budgeted this year for street resurfacing.

Morey gave an update on the water plant regarding pipes from the backwash basins and the lime sludge basins backing up, freezing, and pulling apart last week. Ross Construction and Snyder’s Engineering have been contacted, and city crews temporarily repaired the pipes to allow for continued backwashing to occur. The pipes can be reused, but the pipe stands will need to be rebuilt. An additional modification will be needed to the pipelines to avoid future freezing. Crews do not expect any disturbance of water distribution to complete the repairs.

Morey reported crews repaired a water main break on West Van Buren last week, which resulted in more than 300,000 gallons of water lost. He said crews had to break through more than 18 inches of frost under the road before they could repair the leak.

Crews have had to thaw and/or replace more than a dozen water meters. Morey noted water production is running at least 50,000 gallons more than the average daily production, and the water plant runs 13 hours instead of the normal eight. He has contacted Public Water Supply District Number 2 regarding its increased usage. He anticipates finding more water leaks or broken meters in the coming weeks.

Board Member Steve Evans led a discussion on future plans for the cupola building. Rains said he would contact the women who put on the Chautauqua to see if they have any plans or ideas for the building.

Rains and Police Chief Mark Richards met with the owners of the medical marijuana dispensary last week and toured the business. Richards noted there are levels of security inside the building.

Richards also provided an incident report dated February 22nd which included 15 welfare checks, four animal control incidents, four medical assists, and three animal problems.