Projects in Purdy moving rapidly

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New water meter installation presently underway

Utility work for the city of Purdy advanced on two fronts this week.

Utilities Services has begun installing new radio-read water meters city-wide. Dave Gatewood, public works foreman, said crews have been placing 10 to 12 new meters a day, depending on the weather. Crews hoped to have the entire city converted to the new meters by the end of the year.

Mayor Bo Prock noted that some meters have been difficult to read due to excess moisture inside. He said meter lids are being changed in a number of cases. He expected the more accurate electronic meters would not be impacted the same way as the older mechanical meters by factors such as moisture build-up.

Variances would surface in readings at the city clerk’s desk, Prock said. Clerk Debbie Redshaw could direct crews on check on problems, such as water leaks, due to previously unavailable detection skills.

In October, council members approved former mayor Steve Roden as the city’s official new water operator at a cost of $400 per month. The length of his contract is indefinite. Roden retired in August as the foreman for the City of Monett’s water department after 33 years of service, so that he could start a water business with his son. Purdy was operated its water system off Roden’s license for more than a year, since losing its last employee who had a water license.

This week, aldermen agreed to classify Roden as a city employee, rather than an independent contractor, for tax purposes.

As for the sewer pipeline project between Purdy and the city of Monett, Prock reported progress on the details continued to move quickly. He was working with grant writer Sue Bacorn and Bruce Hively with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, which is funneling grant and loan money into the undertaking.

Double checking was underway on the easements to make sure there were no gaps, and insurance requirements. Clerk Redshaw said she anticipated she would likely have to have increased bonding to cover the additional financing details crossing her desk.

Prock anticipated the construction project would receive the official pre-approval this week. Once that happened, engineers with Allgeier, Martin and Associates overseeing the project would immediately issue a bid call for construction. Prock advised aldermen to be ready to approve a construction contract at their Jan. 8, 2018 meeting. With contingencies for change orders and overages built in, the project has come in under a $4.6 million budget.

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