PUC hears about pole replacement | News, Sports, Jobs

NEW ULM – The Public Utilities Commission received a presentation on the pole replacement project for the electrical transmission system.

The project has been in development for almost five years. It was approved for construction at the PUC meeting on July 28, 2020, with an additional change order approved at the PUC meeting on February 23. The project is in the final phase of completion. Some extra ground work is required before closing.

Utility Engineer Dan Pirsig said the project was needed to replace old transmission piles. The original trailing arms of the trailing arms along the old Water Street right-of-way were in significant disrepair. Pirsig said the exact date these posts were installed couldn’t be determined, but it was between the 1940s and 70s.

In the 1980s, horizontal posts were placed that cross the Minnesota River behind the washing plant. This line segment brings 100% of the energy from the city of New Ulm to the system. These posts were heavily attacked by woodpeckers and were the first reason to start this project.

The main goal of the plan was to replace the wooden posts with steel posts. A few wooden distribution poles will remain on the line, but these can be maintained by Utilities.

Total construction for this project was $ 1,380,972.29.

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The PUC authorized public utility personnel to purchase Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) radios for $ 30,903.32.

Utilities Director Kris Manderfeld said the public utilities are currently using analog radios and are in the process of updating them to digital radios. Some of the used analog radios no longer have replacement parts.

Currently, the city of New Ulm is already part of the ARMER system. According to Manderfeld, it was in the interests of the itilities department to run on the same system. The city council recently approved the purchase of ARMER radios for fire and police services.

Motorola is offering a 5% discount on all items for high volume purchases in addition to the list price discount. Brown County will act as the tax representative who will enable all local government units in the county to include their purchases in one major purchase, in turn allowing the utility department to take advantage of the rebate.

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The flat roof replacement on the west side of the water treatment plant was approved for $ 39,250.

The flat roof on the west side is 28 years old and has undergone only minor repairs during that period. Now there are several leaks in the roofers asking for replacement.

Two quotes were obtained from local companies: Laraway Roofing and GSM. After reviewing the quotes, it was determined that both companies offer similar work, materials, and warranty, with the lower offer being $ 39,250 from GSM.

This project was included in the budget for 2021 with an estimate of $ 40,000.

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