Mt. Pleasant approves funds for transformer, borrowing one in meantime from Fairview
By Rhett Wilkinson
MT. PLEASANT – The Mt. Pleasant City Council has approved $314,838 for a new power transformer for the city—$300,000 from CARES money and the balance from the regular city budget.
The council approved the purchase at the Tuesday, Oct. 13 council meeting. The new transformer will replace a 1972 model that broke down the night of Aug. 18, triggering a citywide power outage.
In the meantime, the city has been borrowing a transformer from Fairview City. The city has narrowed its options for purchasing a new transformer to two suppliers, Shane Ward, power superintendent, told the council.
A transformer is a device that transfers current from a main source to various circuits within a city. The circuits have lines that run to individual customers.
Ward said it would take close to four months to install the transformer and up to 53 weeks to build voltage regulators, devices that work with a transformer.
A voltage regulator is “any electrical or electronic device that maintains the voltage of a power source within acceptable limits.” The voltage regulator is needed to keep voltages within the prescribed ranges that can be tolerated by the electrical equipment using that voltage.
Mt. Pleasant received $103,460 of federal CARES money in the first round of payments, but after the second and third payments should have $310,380, according to a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB). The state is responsible for distributing the federal funding to counties and cities.
In action, after complaining Sept. 22 about the condition of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Pam Stoker, a city resident, talked about additional concerns at the Oct. 13 meeting. Outside the meeting, she told the Messenger she appreciates the work that has been done on the cemetery since she complained the first time.
Stoker said there is a sprinkler problem at “an older section” of the cemetery, and that the sprinklers need to be adjusted or replaced or both.
She asked if the city could order more sprinklers. Colter Allen, the city’s public works superintendent, said that the city has extra sprinkler heads on hand.
Another problem, she said, is the thistles at the cemetery. She asked the council to confer with Lynn Larsen, who sprays thistles for Moroni City.
“One of my concerns is to get on that and have the spraying done this fall so maybe they won’t be as bad come spring,” Stoker said.
Larsen has asked for a five-year contract if he sprays this spring, with free spraying this fall if he got the contract, she said.
Stoker asked if city workers were giving all the time they can to the cemetery. Allen said at the meeting that he had staff at the cemetery that day.
Stoker said she is especially bothered that the city waters its ball fields at the expense of other places that need watering.
In response, Councilman Russ Keisel told her the ball fields have to be watered because they must have a “certain depth” to play on.
“I’m with you, Pam,” Keisel said at the meeting. “The cemetery is something that needs to be taken care of.”
He said keeping grounds watered should be a priority.
Also in the meeting, the council voted to accept a $5.2 million grant and loan from USDA Rural Development for major water improvements, including a well, culinary water tank, sewage treatment plant and distribution lines.
The council also approved a culinary water impact fee analysis, which is a study to determine what impact fees should be charged to help cover the costs of growth.
Councilman Justin Atkinson abstained on both votes. He works for Sunrise Engineering, which often bids on engineering work for projects such as the council approved.