EAST LIVERPOOL - Responding to complaints from not only residents but other city officials, the Board of Public Utilities is seriously considering purchasing equipment to better repair streets after they have been excavated for water and sewer projects.
At recent City Council meetings, Councilman Ray Perorazio and a Cadmus Street resident took exception with the way street repairs have been done by the water department when it has had to tear them up to reach broken water lines.
During the council meetings, Perorazio asked water Superintendent Tim Clark what council could do to persuade the BPU to buy the equipment Clark said is needed to properly do the work.
He told Clark he would attend Thursday's BPU meeting to let that board know council looks at this purchase as priority.
Although Perorazio did not attend Thursday's meeting, the subject was raised by Harvey Avenue resident Jim Reynolds, who complained about a hole in his street, asking why it has taken so long to repair it.
Board member Fred Rayl pointed out it does take longer to repair such holes during the winter months, and Clark explained a rush job was done on the repair due to the hot patch mix plant preparing to shut down for the season at that time.
He said the street department repaired the hole on Harvey Avenue as well as others that same day, and some of those repairs have not held up.
Clark reiterated what he has told Perorazio and council, that equipment is needed to make repairs the proper way at a cost of about $30,000 but that money has not been available due in part to the eight-year legal battle with Buckeye Water District that was recently settled.
A Patchmobile purchased jointly by the city and utilities department in 1997 turned out not to work as well as expected and its use was discontinued, according to Clark, who said the department has, however, begun using premium grade patch material and spent its $20,000 maintenance budget quickly last year.
Utilities Director Bob Disch said the Patchmobile issue "leaves a bad taste in my mouth," and said, "If we're going to do it, let's get what we need and do it. We can't afford a whole lot of $45,000 mistakes," referring to the cost of the Patchmobile, two-thirds of which was paid by water and sewer.
Clark also urged the BPU to "think seriously" about purchasing the equipment, and Rayl told Clark at the conclusion of the meeting to advise City Council the BPU is "seriously considering" purchasing the needed equipment.
In other matters, utilities Disch said he has also delayed any major purchases in the water offices during the BWD legal battle and "now it has caught up with us."
He said the phone system is obsolete, the computer server is failing and needs replaced, as does the high-speed printer.
It was decided that Disch will seek another quote for purchase of a server and the phone system before a decision is made, but that he should pursue purchase of a new printer, which will cost about $9,000.
Disch advised the board he had attempted to obtain a quote for a new phone system from AT&T but its automated system would not route him to a sales person because it claimed he owes an outstanding bill to the company.
His investigation showed another department in City Hall is having a squabble with AT&T over an unpaid bill and said if that gets settled, he will try again to reach a sales person.
The board voted to award contracts to several companies for the annual purchase of chemicals and supplies, with contracts going to the lowest bidders.
It was also agreed to purchase one of six new filters needed for the water department at a cost of $28,000. If it works satisfactorily, the remaining five can be purchased, according to Disch.