The Rushford Village Council met Tuesday, September 4. Of the few agenda items, the one that garnered the most conversation was with guest Tom Kopperud, of NES (Norman’s Electric Service). The topic was the possible installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for the city well and lift station. Kopperud discussed options related to a 2012 quote from NES to address the issues, beginning with basic communication infrastructure.
The communication piece, at that time, included technologies that have rapidly changed in the last six years, such as replacing the well and lift station wiring with ethernet ready programmable logic controllers and installing radio modems at the well, lift station, and city hall. In 2012, this was estimated at $10,850. The new technology options include wireless capabilities and data collection that would enhance the functionality and efficiency of the whole system.
With work being done in south Rushford, by AcenTek, who is improving their own fiberoptic systems, Kopperud suggested the city allow NES to do a study on needs and design a system that meets today’s standards. “If interested, let us design you a system that will give you the latest and greatest stuff and give you a quote,” said Kopperud. The basic communication infrastructure is estimated at $13,000. Kopperud also suggested and AcenTek dialer or Verizon wireless connection could be options until the SCADA system can be done.
Due to time constraints and budgetary needs, the Village council opted to go for “bare bones,” as noted by Mayor Gordon Johnson. Next year, NES can work on determining the options for improving the system and brief the council on the needs. “It takes a little time to put the package together,” noted Kopperud.
“It’s probably our best bet; might be our best solution,” added Johnson. “Next year, by budget time, we’ll be able to identify what we might need and look at the time it takes to check this stuff. We need a manageable way to get what we need for management purposes.”
The system, once complete, would be expandable to suit future needs. “It’ll be giving us a little latitude to decide where to go,” added Johnson. “We don’t have to necessarily have to pull the trigger, but can lay the groundwork. It’ll give us the functionality of what we need.”
In other topics, the council has approved the use of a camera in the water tank for inspection purposes. It is the same cost as having it drained and manually entered and inspected, the council noted the savings of not having to drain the tower twice (once for inspection and once for any needed repairs. The inspection is estimated at $2,700.
“If there’s no excessive silt, I’m comfortable doing a camera test and finding out where we stand.”
It’s recommended that the towers/tanks are inspected every three to five years. Since the last time it was last done, the City of Rushford Village has brought a new well online and sediment has been greatly reduced.
The Village has renewed its annual land lease with Featherstone Farms for three acres of city-owned land adjacent to the Village Hall. The current contract renews automatically each year unless either party wishes to make adjustments or terminate it. The automatic renewal date is September 15 of each year. With no requests from Featherstone, land bids from others, or complaints from Village residents, the council saw no problem with renewal. The per acre payment is $350, which equates to $1,050 annually for the Village.
“It’s good for us; good for them,” said Johnson. “It serves a purpose.”
The council is expected to do preliminary review of the budget at the next meeting, including setting the preliminary levy. There were a number of unusual expenses for the Village this year that has the budget committee, including Councilors Dennis Overland and Rich Smith, looking to address some costs. These include salaries and overages.
“We’re putting proposed numbers together to get the final numbers,” said Overland. “We’re reviewing several areas.” The committee is meeting again this week in hopes of presenting something more concrete to the remainder of the council. “We might have to tighten up a few things,” added Overland.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, September 18, at 7 p.m., at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.