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BPW Elects Officers; Hears MoDOT Update


The Board of Public Works (BPW) elected officers at its regular meeting, held May 13.

Current Chairman Katy Barrett was re-elected to hold the same office. Barrett then nominated member Al West to assume secretarial duties. Both actions were approved by the board.

In MoDOT project news, the BPW heard an update that 131 Highway is nearing completion.

Crews are working to complete sidewalks, curbs and gutters from 4th Street to 2nd St.

Once 131 is done, crews will immediately begin work on 2nd St., between Olive and Pine St.

It was noted the roadway asphalt work on 131 should begin June 1. It was also reported that work has begun on the downtown storm sewer main trunk line.

Several feet of four-foot storm sewer has been installed along the south side of the railroad tracks, east of Vine St.

Water Superintendent Tony Lerda gave an update on an incident that occurred on 131 Highway.

“In the midst of the work along 131, we suffered a main sewer line back-up into a customer’s basement,” he said. “This was unusual in this area of the sewer system.

Following this incident, O&M crews cleaned and video-inspected the sanitary sewer all along the 131 construction area and found several poorly installed service taps that were allowing roots and rainwater to enter the system.

O&M will be excavating in three areas along 131, replacing and repairing damaged sections before the asphalt arrives on June 1, he added.

In a follow-up report, Lerda gave an update on debt refinancing.

The Holden City Council approved the BVW’s agreement with Piper Sandler for assistance to study the benefits to refinance the capital sewer bonds and lease purchases.

“The capital projects are both built to last for many decades beyond their debt maturity,” Lerda explained.

“The BPW may have been a bit ambitious when we financed them partially on a 10-year plan.

“Most communities finance these types of investments on 20- to 30-year plans.”

The reasons for considering refinancing at this time is to extend the loans in order to free up capital debt service and allow those funds to go toward other capital needs of immediate concern within the system.

Lerda went on to explain that some of those immediate needs are – to repair/replace failing sections of sewer mains – along south Main St., across the City Park property between 10th St. and 14th St., along Lexington St., between 3rd and 4th St., and of course, those repairs presently being made along Olive St.

“We also will be expected to perform the stormwater work in the SCEAP study once the design is complete,” Lerda said.

“We only have two years to complete that work or return the SCEAP grant funds.

There is a need to recap the SGAR system with rubber chips from recycled tires. “And last but not least, there may be a need for painting and/or repairs to the water towers following the inspection to take place this summer.”

In water accountability news, Lerda explained there has been excessive flushing due to the MoDOT project, causing apparent water loss to increase.

“However, we are noticing an increase in water loss over the years, as our system ages,” Lerda commented.

“Within the highway improvement project of the past year we have installed 58 new residential meters and have been able to compare four months of water use with the new meters, to four months one year ago with the old meters.

“This pilot study has identified a 19 percent water loss. Water loss is costly to our customers, and has a significant influence or higher user fees.

“We have been researching the cost of replacing our current meters with remote read meters.”

The newer meters will allow the customer to view via internet their water usage at any time.

They can even set alarms within their account to receive a text is a water leak should occur in their absence.

These meters read and record water usage every 15 seconds.

The cost of a system like this for Holden could be recovered in savings from recovering water loss.

The Board agreed to allow Lerda to bring quotes and presentations from venders before them at a future meeting for further review.

In water system news, Lerda explained the water towers will be cleaned and inspected in June.

The regular meeting of the BPW closed, to reopen in June.

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