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USB approves repair; meeting on wastewater next week

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

Frankfort Municipal Utilities is accustomed to addressing water leaks effectively, except when it comes to one of its own buildings. 

For years FMU’s Water Plant at 2105 W. Armstrong Road has had water entering the building after heavy rains and dousing an area of carpeting next to the offending wall.

FMU spent $20,000 – twice – to have the wall sealed, said Utility Service Board member Kent Brewer, but the building still leaked.

Repairing the building was a topic of conversation during budget discussions in December and again a few weeks ago when Water Superintendent Mike Beck and FMU General Manager brought prices to the USB to try again to use some sort of sealant to correct the issue.

After a long conversation about available options, Brewer raised the idea of having the entire building covered in metal siding to solve the problem permanently.

At Monday’s meeting, the board voted to spend $24,500 on baked metal siding that will be attached using 2x4 runners around the building, Brewer said.

The USB will discuss its largest looming infrastructure project at 4 p.m. March 12 when members have their first look at the rates and engineering proposals prepared by Wessler Engineering and Reedy Financial Group for expanding FMU’s wastewater treatment capacity.

The roundtable to review the Cost of Service Study will be held at the Frankfort Middle School.

Brewer said the study will provide an idea of what type of rates would be needed to fund the expansion project needed to create extra capacity to handle additional economic development.

“We want to double the capacity of the plant, but that may all change when we see what the rates come in at,” he said. 

“I also bet that compared to two years ago, (the expansion) is $1 million more because of the tariffs put on steel over the last four days,” Brewer said. “The cost of scrap steel has already jumped by $75 per ton.”