City Council Meeting, Tonight for “$60 Million Rumors on Water ImprovementsJuly 10th, 2014 by iPhone
A City Council meeting has been called for tonight at 6:30, to address recent rumors that the $10 million expense paid to Siemens will only improve water service in a small portion of the city, and why another brand of meters was used, in place of the recommended brand.
The “$60 million” was based on the concept of, “if $10 million only repairs 1 ‘phase’ of the city’s 6 ‘phases’, then it must take $60 million to repair leaks for the entire city,”
For over a week, MLive has been trying to confirm the validity (or unfounded rumors) that are circulating about the unannounced $60 million expense involved in completing the City Water System Improvements.
Interim Mayor Tim Chase told MLive that he, along with the city’s clerk, attorney, and street supervisor had met with Siemens representatives, Tuesday, to correct the “focus” of the water improvement infrastructure plan.
The early publicized cost of $10 million was reported to include 4,600 Hersey meters (Sensus brand was installed) and 93 miles of water pipe (per July, 2013 meeting).
In the past month, many questions, and
In August, 2012, these 2 maps were shown to the city Council, representing recent water leaks, at that time.
October 20, 2011, it was reported to the City Council inaccurate water meters were costing the city 47% of the city’s water usage.
In January, 2013, Siemens was approved as the city’s “Water Repair Contractor.”
In September, 2013, this was taken from an MLive report…
“The pipe layout has also been designed to minimize the need to dig up streets, and to impact existing trees and other environmental features. All streets that are damaged by this project will be repaired under the contract. All water meters will be replaced with radio-read meters, and a computerized system will be installed to alert the water department to meter damage, water leaks, and other issues. Approximately 100 fire hydrants will be replaced.”
Recently, we interviewed Cody Carter, local supervisor for Siemens, who told us that first priority would be on needs in the “phase 3” area of their map (east of Main St., south of Gaines St.).
Carter also told MLive that needs in other parts of the city would be addressed, but only “a very small percentage.” Also when asked, he wasn’t sure why the Hersey meters were replaced with Sensus meters.
Interim Mayor Tim Chase told us that Tuesday’s meeting should remove any controversy, because, “repairs will be done based on need, not in phases.”
Since this is a Performance Based Contract, Tony Ardillo, of Siemens, on October 11 stated, “If we say we’re going to increase your revenue by $200,000 with your new meters, if we meet or exceed that, then we’re all good. If we don’t, then we write a check [to the city for the difference], fix the problem, and go on from there.”
There have been no recent meetings, where these issues have been presented to the City Council, and it has also been told that council members were not given copies of the contract to read , prior to its approval.
No one,when asked had been able to answer how far “93 miles of pipe” will cover, or how far a $10,000,000 bill will stretch.
Sources report that Siemens has already been paid “90%” of the contract, and other questions that we’re still investigating.
Posted below is the letter sent by Siemens’ Carter to the City, after Tuesday’s meeting.
City of Monticello
Dear Dr. Chase:
Siemens Industry, Inc. will complete underground piping work throughout the city where designated as a high leakage area.
By the end of July, work will begin in the core of the city which currently has the most leaks and oldest piping.
Once construction has started in the area already approved by the Arkansas
Department of Health, we will instruct the project engineer to work with the Public Works Department to design additional areas throughout the city that are designated as high leakage and problem areas.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email. “