The Trenton City Council Monday night authorized the Howe Engineering Company to proceed with plans to have repairs made to a flood-damaged sanitary sewer force main under Muddy Creek.
During the flooding of last May, the stream bank severely eroded and exposed the force main pipes. City Administrator Ron Urton said the piping is still intact and functioning. But he noted it’s in danger of being torn out by debris floating down Muddy Creek.
Following a review of three options, the city council chose to relocate the force main pipe further west in the embankment and extend the force main to the next manhole downstream. The option also involves a re-grade of the embankment, flatten the slopes, widen the channel cross-section, place fabric and rip rap on the re-graded slope.
The engineers’ cost estimate for this project is $84,000. Urton told the council this option provides better protection of the force main and has the least potential for future bank erosion damage. But, Urton admitted the additional work will probably not be eligible for cost reimbursement from FEMA because it involves moving the piping and the benefit-cost ratio (6:1) is not met.
Urton added FEMA has indicated it would provide $47,250 to TMU with the balance of the cost absorbed by Trenton Municipal Utilities from previously, unused sewer department funds. FEMA officials told the city that reimbursement is only available to place soil back into the eroded area. Placing fabric and rip rap to protect the new soil is considered mitigation since it’s an improvement to a pre-existing condition. The city will seek bids for the project.
City Councilman Larry Crawford mentioned his concern that it’s taking more than the expected 90 days of time that Toth and Associates said it needed to conduct the electric rate study for TMU. As Utility Director Ron Urton told a committee meeting last week, the preliminary report on Toth’s professional study of TMU electric rates and structure is not expected until mid-February. It was noted at last nights’ meeting that information was provided in late October to the company.
The council also reviewed the annual net metering report at Trenton. Five locations within Trenton use solar panels to offset the cost of their utilities. The most recent addition began service in November at 802 Monroe Street. Other locations are 5006 Lake Manor Drive, Trenton High School, Black Silo Winery, and 303 East 7th Street. The report noted the AC rated output of the systems, or basically, the capacity, collectively, is 68,390 kilowatts.
A youth from Trenton Boy Scout Troop 99 also attended the council meeting.
An executive session, advertised for legal purposes, was not held as city officials noted the closed session wasn’t needed at this time.