Utilities purchases water pump motor

By Matt Lasley mlasley@civitasmedia.com

March 7, 2014

The Leitchfield Utilities Commission recently approved the purchase and installation of a new motor for a high-service pump at the City water plant.

According to Leitchfield Utilities Superintendent Kevin Pharis, a 125-horsepower motor for one of the three pumps that sends water into town has burned up and needs to be replaced.

The replacement motor will cost approximately $9,680 plus $173 per hour for manpower, a service truck, and a crane to install the new motor, Pharis said.

The $6,500 cost of repairing the current motor would ultimately not save the City money because each time a motor is repaired, it loses some efficiency, according to Pharis.

In addition, repairing the current motor would take five to seven business days, while purchasing and installing a new motor would take only two to three days, Pharis said.

Utilities Commission Vice-Chairman Dwight Embry recommended that while purchasing a new motor for the pump, the City also purchase a soft-start valve, which would allow the pump to ramp up rather than release water all at once.

Pharis said this would likely increase the cost from $9,680 to about $13,000 to $14,000; however, the soft-start valve would increase the life-span of the high-service pumps by reducing “wear-and-tear.”

After some discussion, the Commission decided to wait to purchase the soft-start valve and allow additional time for Pharis to investigate and negotiate prices for a valve.

Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason motioned to approve the purchase of the $9,680 motor plus the $173 per hour installation cost with the addition that Pharis also investigate prices of soft-start valves.

The motion carried.

In other business:

*Pharis reported that Leitchfield Utilities is currently renting a track hoe and hoe ram at the cost of $7,000 a week to work on the sewer system for the Grayson County Board of Education.

Pharis said the track hoe and hoe ram are being rented at two-week intervals at the monthly rate.

*City Attorney David Vickery said an issue has arisen with Anthem insurance between their medical and pharmacy claims computer systems.

Vickery said the pharmacy side is not recognizing when some City employees have paid their deductibles, and this causes them to have to pay the full price for their prescriptions again.

Thomason said this issue just started this past month, and, as of now, it is uncertain whether this issue is affecting all Anthem customers.

Customers are encouraged to make sure they have met their deductibles and to inform Anthem if there is a problem, so an override can be installed in the system until the issue is corrected.