Meeting yesterday afternoon was the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees.
One item of note was a transfer of funds. The funds came from a class action lawsuit from Syngenta regarding athrozine. This farm chemical can be found in water runoff. Since 1993, Mt. Pleasant Utilities participated in voluntary testing of the farm chemical. A class action lawsuit from athrozine resulted in the utilities receiving a check for $32,000. A few things of note regarding this: contaminant levels could only really be a problem during heavy rains and testing in our area had minimal traces at most. With the switch to deep wells some years ago, this problem has become non-existent. Well, the Utilities now have a check that was to be designated towards infrastructure. The Board voted to move the monies to the Water Improvement Fund for future projects.
Several projects are underway, including water treatment plant upgrades which are expected to be completed in early April. Phase two will begin in the fall. These phases are expected to save a considerable amount of energy and money for the utilities.
Grand Avenue is in the final planning process. Work should be starting in early spring or sooner, weather permitting. As far as street lighting, it will be decorative LED lights, like those on the recent Washington reconstruction. An Iowa Economic Authority Block grant was awarded to pay half of the cost of the Grand Avenue project. The one caveat is that the project has to be underway by February 28th to receive the funds but according to General Manager Jack Hedgecock, he believes that it can be accomplished. Phase two for the Grand Avenue project will commence in the fall after the bulk of the construction work has been completed.
Also, the Board showed their support for Hedgecock and his possible appointment to the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. He also mentioned the conversion to LED lights for the Grand Avenue intersections. This conversion will have a great saving for electricity and maintenance to the lights as well as better visibility to drivers.