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The electrical equipment proposals were reviewed Wednesday evening by the Trenton Utilities Committee and will be presented for consideration at the Monday evening meeting of the Trenton City Council.

A proposal from Altorfer Power Systems involves options to repair the SCADA communications at the south substation between the seven Caterpillar generators and the SCADA programmable logic controller. Utilities manager Ron Urton prefers an option that removes aging and outdated controls and replaces them with current controls from Caterpillar’s current technology. The estimated cost is $193,830. A less expensive option from Altorfer is basically to repair used controls. Urton said $94,000 has been budgeted for this project. The remaining $100,000 would come from the electrical services cash reserve fund.

The RS Electric Company has four proposals for TMU – three of which have been budgeted. The company offers services and materials to provide “integration” services to the plant. The cost of work at the south station is $65,000 for this year. It will cost $65,000 more next year for work at the north station. Labor and materials for the “integration” services with the SCADA upgrade to the sewage plant will cost $85,000. The labor and materials required to install a chlorine analyzer for the disinfection building at the treatment plant cost $21,500.

In what utility manager Urton called a “compulsory expense”, RS Electric is offering a refurbished variable frequency pump (VFD) for the water treatment plant. The cost is $17,920.

Tenders from three companies opened on Wednesday for a pump at the water tank. Urton reported that the low bid of $399,000 was only $25,000 higher than the engineer’s estimate. This offer will be presented to the council at the meeting on Monday evening. He noted that the city needed to act quickly due to rising pump prices and delivery delays. Urton raised concerns that piping materials for the reservoir pumping station are expected to take 40 weeks to become available. The pumps, he said, will take 12 to 16 weeks to arrive.

Urton described material prices as rising two to four times their normal price. He also noted that delays of six to eight months are reported for automated electricity and water meters. Some 1,755 Tantalus electricity meters are in place, but another 1,350 need to be replaced over the next two years. 80% of new water meters are read by the Tantalus system. The city continues to work to get the remaining 5 to 600 water meters read while crews troubleshoot meters and pit locations.

The council will also consider re-hiring Asplundh Tree Experts for professional tree pruning services on or near power lines. Urton said the company offered a rate of $160 per hour for a two-man crew. He noted that’s six percent more than last year. TMU provides up to $25,000 for tree trimming. Distribution Supervisor Brad Griffin noted that using an outside contractor allows local utility workers to focus on electrical system projects and related work.

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