City council approves $243,000 in Utilities Dept. repairs, upgrades

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

NILES — The Niles Council approved several emergency purchases for essential Utilities Department projects during its Monday meeting at the Niles Fire Department.

More than $243,000 was approved to address various needs within the utilities department, including water main repairs, transformer replacements, streetlight replacements and more.

Construction is slated to begin this spring.

The department has been in the process of rebuilding its aging infrastructure according to Niles Utilities Manager Jeff Dunlap. The department has been systematically replacing poles and moving service lines and utilities when needed. The projects will be paid for using budgeted funds from the Utilities Department’s Electric and Water Divisions.

Dunlap said the department is upgrading from a 4-kilovolt system to a 12-kilovolt system.

“We’re really excited about increasing our reliability and being able to more easily source parts,” he said.

Due to supply chain gridlock and manufacturing issues, Dunlap said the city was finding lead times sometimes up to a year or more.

“We’re trying to think a little ahead, too,” he said. “We’re bulking up on stock to get a bit of a head start.”

Council’s utilities department approvals included:

  • The emergency purchase in the amount of $4,283 from Selge Construction for water main break repair.
  • The emergency expenditure in the amount of $2,968.00 from T&R Service Company of Colman, South Dakota for the disposal of a PCB filled transformer removed from service and stored at the Service Center.
  • The emergency purchase in the amount of $2,926.00 from Huber Technology of Denver, North Carolina, for one swing check valve for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • The emergency purchase in the approximate amount of $4,295 from RS Technical Services, Inc. of Lowell, for scales at Decker Well.
  • The purchase of 2,000 feet of 4/0 electric service line cable for $4,360 from Power Line Supply of Reed City.
  • 127 LED streetlight heads for $9,930.13 from Power Line Supply of Reed City.
  • Allowing the city to engage Fishbeck, Inc. of Lansing, to develop and submit an EGLE approved Project Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, at a cost of $28,600.
  • One maintenance service body at $30,445.30 from Knapheide Truck Equipment of Flint, for the Water Division’s 2022-23 Ford F550 cab and chassis.
  • The purchase of five padmount transformers for $32,000 from Mead & White Electric Inc. of Bridgman.
  • The quote of $37,800 from Power Line Supply of Reed City, for 15,000 feet of underground electric cable.
  • To sole source batteries and chargers for the Electric Division’s substations from Turner Electrical Services LLC of Sylvania, Ohio at a cost of $50,561.
  • To award a bid of $50,042 to Feldman Ford LLC of Detroit for a 2022-23 Ford F550 cab and chassis for the Utilities Department, Water Division.