PUC approves bids for transformer, breaker

NEW ULM – The Public Utilities Commission accepted bids on Tuesday for the South Side Substation Transformer and the 69 KV Breaker.

Commissioners accepted the transformer bid from Virginia Transformer for $521,512.50. The bid included the costs of off-loading, assembly, testing and a five-year warranty.

For the breaker, a proposal from Alstom was accepted, with the load bid of $41,258.06. This bid also includes a five-year warranty.

Both bids were below the budgeted amount.

The project was included in the 2014 PUC budget. It will be funded with an internal loan from the Gas Department.

Water tower

change order

A change order came for the Airport Water Tower Reconditioning Project was approved.

An inspection revealed the lower ladder landings are more than 23 feet apart. OSHA requires a fall-arrest system be installed on ladder landings more than 20 feet apart. MK Painting will furnish and install these additional fall-arrest systems for $12,500. This action will increase the contract with MK Painting, and will add two days to the original 65 contract days for the project. The revised contract for the project totals $280,500.

Water quality

The Minnesota Department of Health submitted a notice that New Ulm water system is in compliance with the provisions of the Lead and Copper Rule of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Lead and copper levels are in the 90th percentile, which means lead levels are at eight parts per billion and for copper 819 parts per billion.

Water/Steam Department Supervisor George Brown explained that this test is conducted every three years. Brown said that residences with high copper or lead content in their water should let it run before use.

“There is no lead or copper in the water coming out of the water plant,” said Brown. The copper and the lead is typically coming from the interior piping. Often brass tap fixtures can result in higher lead content. Brown said that until last year brass was allowed to contain 20 percent lead.

Budget adjustment

The proposed adjustment calls for a $2,000 decrease to salaries in the Administration Fund and a $2,000 increase to Wellness Program. Staff is attempting to take a proactive approach in trying to moderate health insurance claims by forming a Wellness Committee. Finance Director Reg Vorwerk explained that in 2014 health premiums increased and are likely to increase again in 2015. Program ideas include cooperating with an upcoming Heart of New Ulm health screening.

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