Belle aldermen approve $324,000 water meter loan bid to Maries County Bank

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 1/28/21

BELLE — The Belle Board of Aldermen approved with a 3-0 vote on Jan. 12 a loan bid for the Belle water meter project to Maries County Bank, as well as an emergency water tower repair to Flynn …

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Belle aldermen approve $324,000 water meter loan bid to Maries County Bank

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BELLE — The Belle Board of Aldermen approved with a 3-0 vote on Jan. 12 a loan bid for the Belle water meter project to Maries County Bank, as well as an emergency water tower repair to Flynn Well Drilling. 

After approving the water meter loan to be sent out to local banks for bids in December, aldermen reviewed three bids during the January meeting. They awarded Maries County Bank the water meter project loan with a 3-0 vote. 

Maries County Bank bid a three percent interest rate for $324,000, to be repaid over the course of 15 years.

Maries County Bank was one of three local entities to bid on the project that will replace the town’s water meters over the next six months. The city already approved the meter bid from Core and Main for 725 Sensus brand meters not to exceed $258,394.

Legends Bank also bid a fixed 3.95 percent interest rate on $324,000 for a seven-and-a-half year loan; and Mid America Bank bid a fixed 3.95 percent interest on a $324,000 loan on a 15 year loan.

Under new business for the Public Works Department, Director Tony Baretich informed the board that a well pump to one of the water towers had been down since Jan. 4, eight days prior to the meeting.

“There had been an electric surge and the pump was in pieces,” Mayor Steve Vogt told the board.

According to Baretich, Flynn Drilling Company, who recently purchased Custom Pump, is the most local company.

“I don’t know why we had a catastrophic failure in a 10-year-old pump,” Baretich said. “In the future, we want to install a device so the pump can’t start until the bearings are wet. But this time, it failed and the surges caused damages to the bearings.”

Baretich said it would cost about $43,897 to replace the pump and expired bearings.

“A lot of it is just things that have to be done and put back together,” Baretich said.

He added that since it was a catastrophic event, the city may want to try and contact their insurance agency to see if anything may be covered. 

“The total is the worst case scenario,” Vogt said.

Baretich agreed, and added that the pump’s control box is really the only thing the insurance might cover, which is about $7,700 and depending on the city’s deductible, they could get $2,000 to $5,000 covered.

Since there hadn’t been a lot of extra water to pump through, Baretich told the board the two well pumps had been maintaining the city’s output, but it wasn’t ideal.

“I’ve already talked to the fire department, we can’t be pulling water for a structure fire or anything like that, and I have been checking water pressure across town, which seems to be holding,” Baretich said.

Alderman Jeanette Struemph asked if the purchase would update the pump from what was there previously. Baretich said yes, they wouldn’t go backwards. It should be about 10 percent more efficient and the city should notice savings soon.

The board decided they would purchase the repairs with the water fund’s reserve that had $66,600 in the account.

“We should see substantially more years from this pump,” Baretich said.

Flynn Well Drilling was awarded the job. According to city policy, due to the emergency nature of the incident, they did not have to send the work out for bid.

In other public works business, Baretich requested the city’s permission to pay for water testing at a cost of $350 per week until mid February because of water bypassing. Struemph made a motion to approve the testing, which passed with a 3-0 vote.

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