Municipal Authority votes to expand substation

Posted in: News
By Todd Brooks
Apr 25, 2013 - 8:58:18 AM

The City of Marlow met in a three-for-all Tuesday evening completing regular meetings of the Marlow City Council and the Marlow Municipal Authority (MMA) and held a special meeting for the (MMA).
At the MMA special meeting, trustees voted to begin expansion at the city’s existing substation.
Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) representatives Jim McAlvoy and Alex Muncha discussed the proposal with the MMA.
They cited several reasons to expand the substation, including:
The city’s one transformer makes it difficult to perform maintenance without a power outage.
Environmental hazards.
No redundancy – a substation failure shuts the city’s power down.
Muncha said an addition to the substation would benefit Marlow in two ways – reliability and safety.
He said the OMPA proposal not only accounts for another transformer, which the city has already purchased for $450,000, it will allow one transformer to take the entire burden if the other transformer goes down.
“It will also allow the city to grow in size and still be able to share the load,” Muncha said. “The city could double in size and there would be no problems.”
The proposed expansion would likely be located west of the existing substation and house a second transformer.
A new control house would also be constructed allowing city workers to operate equipment for both substations away from hazardous equipment and improving employee safety.
A second transformer will allow the city to perform maintenance without an outage or rental of a mobile substation, which costs approximately $45,000. Automated switches would be installed to switch from one transformer to the other without doing it manually.
The authority unanimously accepted the proposal and will open bids for the project.
“We want to have a mandatory pre-bid meeting,” McAlvoy said. “We want to make sure the bidders are aware of how everything is to work.”
Completion date for the expansion is estimated to be between Nov. 2014 and Jan. 2015.
“We don’t want to rush,” Marlow City Administrator Janice Cain said. “When we only give a short amount of time, the bids are higher. Plus, it allows us to do a thorough check on everyone who is giving a bid.”
At the regular meeting of the MMA held later the same evening, the authority agreed to begin charging the $5 fee for the city’s new recycling project beginning with the May utility bill. In the April 11 edition of The Marlow Review Cain said no fee would be charged until the program is operational.
“We need to approve this and have something on the books where we could show the auditors what the additional $5 charge is for,” Cain said.
The first recycling pickup is scheduled on May 8 for the residences north of Main Street and May 15 for residences south of Main Street. Business locations are not eligible for the recycling program.
The vote passed 6 for and 0 against with trustee Daniel Ross abstaining.
In other business, the MMA authorized a $36,533 payment to Hudiburg Chevrolet for a water department vehicle converted to use CNG.
Since compressed natural gas is significantly cheaper than gasoline or diesel, the city is going to keep a close eye on how long it takes for the fuel savings to equal conversion costs. The costs range into the thousands of dollars. Officials will then decide if it is worth converting city-owned vehicles to CNG.
During their regular meeting, the Marlow City Council heard an audit report from Chris Angel of Angel, Johnston & Blasingame, P.C. Angel praised the city’s financial statements and noted only a few discrepancies needing to be addressed.
“This was one of the easier audits we’ve done,” Angel said.
The council also voted to engage Cavin Design Group out of Okalahoma City to provide architectural/engineering services for the renovation of the Marlow Municipal Building (existing city hall) for sole utilization by the police and fire departments when administrative functions move to the new city hall.
The cost of the renovation will be up to $300,000.
The council voted to get out of the landlord business and sold property at 327 W. Main to Victory Home Health for $15,000.
“They are planning on making a big investment in the building,” Cain said. “We’ve had roofing and a/c problems that we have had to fix. I think it would benefit the city not to be a landlord.”
In other business, the council approved the planning and zoning commission’s recommendation for a use-on-review request of Robin and Lyn Cooper for property at 701 N. Elm.
The couple plans on keeping up to six horses on the property.
A vote to seek bids for furniture packages for the Garland Smith Public Library was the final approval of the night for the council.

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