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City to overhaul power plant engine

By Staff | Dec 7, 2016

by Amy H. Peterson


The Estherville City Council, at its regular meeting Monday night, approved a proposal from Wheeler World in the amount of $839,950 to overhaul Unit 4 at the city power plant.

Wheeler World is based in Gambier, Ohio.

Unit 4 was installed in 1969. It became inoperable due to the Sept. 23, 2014 crankcase explosion.

Overhauling the engine would put it back in service. City administrator Penny Clayton said the project would pay for itself in approximately five years through capacity credits.

Clayton said currently the Estherville plant is collecting capacity credits for 8.822 megawatts for the remaining three engines. With Unit 4 back in service, the city should be able to collect credits on 12.422 megawatts.

If Unit 4 was online by Sept, 2018, Clayton said the city would collect $151,200 more in 2019, and $162,000 more in 2020 than what the city is currently collecting.

Clayton said, “Funding for this project would come from the electric fund reserves, of which we have approximately $3 million available.

City utility director Mitch Eveleth said, “I?hate to be a doomsday guy, but with everything being computerized, all the utilities are connected.”

Eveleth said hackers on the west coast were able to break into the systems and “it cascaded down; they shut everything off.”?Eveleth said if such a thing happened, it could take weeks to restore service to everyone affected.

Eveleth said,?”We don’t have anything to worry about as far as someone taking us down personally. With four engines running, we can keep things on, keep schools open, in case of a crisis,”?Eveleth said.

The council also approved a bid in the amount of $89,902 from ABC?Services for budgeted work on two sections of the water main. The affected areas would be on First Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets, between the Estherville Public Library and the Emmet Co. Courthouse, and on First Avenue South, between the bowling alley and the Pepsi building.

Repairs to the streets affected are part of the 2017 street improvement budgets. Work is scheduled to be complete by July 1, 2017.

The council named three individuals to the Rental Housing Board. Under the rental code changes implemented last summer, three members of this board would handle arbitration for any landlord/tenant/enforcement issues that arose.

Contractor Shannon Lempke, renter Don Schultz, and citizen Roger Christensen were named to the Board.

The next city council meeting will take place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 in the chambers of city hall.