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Council approves aerator purchase

By Staff, 08/21/18 10:16 AM

PRECOTT – Prescott’s City Council, at its August meeting Monday night, approved spending $24,810 for a new aerator for the city’s sewer pond.

Perry Nelson, superintendent of the Prescott Water and Sewer Department, said the sewer plant has a 16-acre pond all the city’s wastewater goes into, and there are two brush aerators operating on the pond 24-7 eight months out of the year. This, he said, keeps the algae down, a problem during hot months, as well as keeping the smell down, while adding oxygen to the water. This, he continued, has been done for 15 years with the department now on its third generation of aerators.

A new one is needed as one is about to go out. Nelson said it’s hoped the one to be replaced will last the rest of the year, but it’s showing problems with the motor and could go out pretty much at any time. He provided the council with an alternative option to using aerators, saying someone could operate a motor boat in the pond to keep it stirred up, but this would be dangerous.

The first pond, he said, has a second generation aerator that’s been rebuilt this year, and the one having problem with its motor. He said everything has been realigned and services in the one with motor problems, but its amperage is going up, which is a sign it’s about to go out. “I’d like to have one on the way and have a back up if we need to.” Nelson said he’d most likely be asking the council for another one next year, but this one would be funded from this year’s depreciation fund. “This equipment operates in a harsh environment.” The council approved the purchase.

In other business, the council approved the first amendment to the 2018 budget, with City Accountant Carl Dalrymple telling the panel he’ll be back in November or December when the council will need to do “a big one” as retirement benefits have gone up. This amendment removed the Nevada Depot Museum electricity as a separate item, putting it under the Depot’s budget.

The council also heard from Rudy Sullivan, a citizen asking what he was supposed to do about a letter he received calling for him to clean up his property. He said the stuff in his yard was mostly steel and he’s cleaned up the trash. Selling steel is how he makes a living, he told the council. “If I get rid of it all, I’ll have to move because I can’t pay my electric bill.”

Robbie Franks, the city’s code enforcement officer, said all metal, inoperable vehicles and anything that devalues neighboring property is considered junk and needs to be removed.

Sullivan replied the City of Prescott ought to be moved then. “To me it’s not junk. Some is, but I get rid of the junk and haul it away.”

The way it’s piled up, Franks said, isn’t acceptable through code enforcement, but added there have been complaints. He continued saying his actions aren’t personal and everyone is treated the same, no matter who they are. Anyone violating the ordinance will get a letter, he said, and be held responsible. “This is what the council wants.” He added once fine amounts are “set in stone” citations will be issued to violators who don’t comply.

Sullivan said he understands the city’s point, but added all of Prescott is breaking the ordinance.

Franks agreed, saying he’ll get to everyone eventually and everyone violating the ordinance will be held responsible, but he can’t get to them all at once.

Sullivan pointed out it would take more than 20 days to clean up his property. Franks agreed, saying Sullivan could have more time as long as he makes a “good faith effort” in cleaning up.

Sullivan asked how he’s supposed to survive as he only gets $900 a month and this is how he makes a living. There was no answer.

Councilman Tommy Poole asked for an update on the electric situation. City Attorney Glenn Vasser said he and the city would be listening to a settlement conference call Wednesday and if they don’t like what’s said, he’ll pull the trigger on litigation with the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission (FERC) and at the federal level.