Forthcoming drinking water plant planned to be in operation between April and June

Crew members with Plocher Construction have moved inside from the winter cold to perform tasks on schedule at the forthcoming Ralls County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) #1 drinking water plant, set to be operational in April or June.

District Engineer Mark Bross discussed the progress at the facility near the intersection of U.S. 61 and Route W during the Ralls County PWSD #1 Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, Jan. 23.

He said construction crew members prepared to apply wall coatings, floor epoxy coatings and other interior fixtures. Workers are conducting tasks aided by a temporary heating system as they kept the project to complete the $9,860,000 facility on track. A $27,110.65 change order was needed, which Bross said was within the expected range for potential changes at one-and-half percent of the project cost.

The change order will include removal of unneeded insulation from the plant's clarifier unit, installation of drop ceiling tiles for the electrical and mechanical rooms, electrical work for a future sump pump on U.S. 36 and installing a concrete entrance on U.S. 61.

Board of Directors members also approved Bluebird Network to provide fiber optic network services to the plant, with a low bid of $15,150 to connect to the facility. The bid undercut Charter Communications' verbal quote of about $85,000. Directors approved Bluebird Network's bid, which included a five-year contract for $150 per month service charges.

In other business:

Directors approved Alliance Local Manager Lucas Drullinger's recommendation to close a 2006 Certificate of Deposit account that totaled $18,106. The United States Department of Agriculture restricts the use of these funds, and the board agreed to use the money to purchase 102 Neptune radio read meters at an anticipated cost of $17,436.90 from Schulte Supply Inc. The board also agreed to establish a new CD fund with an investment of $1,646. Alliance Operations Supervisor Tyler Stuhlman reported that all water mains for the plant have been tested. Bross said that the remaining section of main under the South River bay area is being relocated due to boulders and other underground obstructions. Stuhlman said crew members received training on water treatment plant operation procedures and cyber security topics. Bross plans to share a presentation detailing the progress at the drinking water treatment plant during the Board of Directors' next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com