Any significant planning or work on the idea of a small hydropower generating installation at the Orchard City water treatment plant will likely be on hold for the present.
A decision on the project's feasibility will await a final decision, and the possible need for new engineering drawings will need to be evaluated.
Mayor Don Suppes reported to the town trustees Feb. 13 that his January presentation to the DMEA board of directors was inconclusive. The town wants to apply excess electricity generated by the proposed turbine project to all seven of its electric meters, not just to the meter at the water treatment plant. Current DMEA regulations limit credits for excess power generated by customers to only one meter, Suppes explained.
"DMEA has had this discussion before," Suppes told the trustees. He added that it would likely be summer before any new discussions of the meter issue were taken up.
Orchard City wants to generate hydropower from the raw water flowing into its water treatment plant. The proposed project is capable of generating more electricity than is needed at the plant for winter heating and other uses. So, the town wants to get credit for all of the additional electricity it would put back into DMEA's grid, but the current regulation prohibits that.
The difference means that the project would be more financially viable and have a shorter payback period if the town could get full credit for all of the electricity it generates.
Also, a set of drawings for the project that cost the town over $10,000 are considered inadequate by some trustees. The plans may have to be redone by another engineer adding additional cost to the project.
In other business during the Orchard Trustees' Feb. 13 meeting, the following matters were dealt with:
• It was announced that the town's annual insurance premium had gone up to $30,775 for the current year. Last year's premium was $24,437. The increase was due to an insurance company inspection.
Town Clerk Melissa Oelke explained that CIRSA, the town's insurance carrier, visited the town and found some facilities that weren't included in the policy. Adding the facilities to the policy accounted for the 2013 increase.
CIRSA also insures the Town of Cedaredge which also got a hefty increase from the company for the same stated reason as Orchard City did.
• Trustee Jimmie Boyd told town board to expect to see water department expenditures to exceeding the budget by $1,300. The water committee has approved additional safety equipment for employees that was not included in the $$3,500 budgeted. Some additional gear was bought boosting the budget item to $4,600, he reported.
• The parks committee reported that it is going over final details with on the annual contract with youth sports organizations which use town facilities each summer.blog comments powered by Disqus