MOUNT VERNON — Utilities Director Mathias Orndorf said the city has completed about 70 percent of the MXU and water meter upgrades that will allow the city to implement monthly water billings.
Orndorf, at the mayor’s weekly press briefing, said he has ordered another 1,000 units, but the supplier has not been able to the fill the order yet. Installing those units will be the job of a team of seasonal hires this summer.
Installation of the radio equipment that will allow the city to begin collecting monthly readings will begin this coming week and in three to six months the city should start implementing monthly readings.
Orndorf also reported that the heavy rain last week (2.1 inches in three days) caused an 8-hour bypass of the wastewater plant, sending about 12,500 gallons per minute past the plant into the river.
A lift station on Clinton Road was overwhelmed with water. There are no storm sewers there and there is a lot of infiltration in the area, Orndorf said.
Another lift station malfunctioned and had to be repaired.
Gas lines in the area were located and so a break in a 4-inch water line at Riley and Salem was repaired Tuesday. The line was repaired under pressure and no boil advisory was needed.
Orndorf also reported that crews began repairing water line digs from the winter and also began yard repairs from fall work.
The department began moving the dirt piles near the inclusion playground at Memorial Park this week. The work will be completed before the ribbon cutting April 25, as will some finishing touches and repair work the installation contractor needs to complete. That work will require closing the playground for three to five days. This will include sealing the soft surface tiles and fixing a bearing in the merry-go-round.
The contractor has begun work on the Hiawatha Park pump house addition. Footers have been poured and block laying should begin next week.
The trash receptacles and trash cans have been placed out in all parks and the recycling bins will be delivered soon to Memorial and Ariel-Foundation parks. Superintendent Dave Carpenter is asking that people please put only recycling materials in the recycle bins.
Leadership Knox and Probation Department volunteers will be working on a painting project at Memorial Park today.
Spring cleanup is underway at Mound View Cemetery. As part of the cleanup, said Carpenter, all old, worn or wrongly placed plantings and decorations are being removed. Anyone unsure about where plantings and decorative items may be placed should check with the cemetery office.
Cemetery employees will be placing notices on areas where items will be removed. If no response is received within one week, the items will be removed.
Carpenter said 11 picnic tables have been received from Lowes for the new Shellmar Park. He also said he was waiting on a quote from Small’s Asphalt on the cost of paving the parking lot and basketball court areas.
Carpenter said there have been no signs of any osprey checking out the nesting platform, but he did see an osprey take a fish from the middle lake this week.
Only one bid was received on the city’s resurfacing program. The lone bid was from Small’s Asphalt for $413,234.92, which was higher than the engineer’s estimate of $390,260.50, but is within the 10 percent margin that can be accepted. The Engineering Department was reviewing the bid to make sure all specifications are met.
Bids will be opened Thursday, April 11, on the Yellow Jacket Drive water line extension.
With winter finally in the rear view mirror, more seasonal activity occupied the time of the Street Department, Superintendent Tom Hinkle reported. This included:
Obtaining another eight tons of hot mix asphalt for patching potholes; rebuilding catch basins at Gambier and Fountain streets and on North Mulberry Street in front of the library; poured around the catch basin at 903. W. Gambier St.; removed fallen tree at Calhoun and Prospect streets Sunday evening and cleaned up debris Monday. With all the rain Saturday a crew came in to clean off the catch basin at Emmett and Nuce due to debris clogging it; removed a tree on Snowden Thursday; replaced the junction box for traffic light wires in the alley between Public Square and West Vine Street and installed new overhead state route signs on the east side of Public Square.
Friday, workers were busy repairing the controller at the East Gambier/Liberty/Rogers intersection, which was hit by a vehicle.
City Engineer Brian Ball reported that Smith Paving has completed 1,507 feet of the Beech Street sidewalk project, including driveway entrances, and has another 1,241 feet to complete.
Ball said work on some of the South Main Street crosswalks may begin next week, although it could be the week after. Five curb sections (the concrete borders along the brick crossings, need to be replaced. Each block will remain open from at least one direction as the work progresses.
Steps to open
Ball said the City Hall steps should reopen next week. The contractor was working Friday to position the railing that has been refurbished. Ball said the railing will be set in holes drilled in the concrete and then filled with an epoxy resin and conditions need to be dry when it is done.
Mayor Richard Mavis said letters will go out next week about the Memorial Day parade with information about registering for the event. The parade will again come west on High Street to Gay Street, then south to Vine and back east on Vine. The Memorial Day program will take place in front of the Memorial Building.
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