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Centralia aldermen review utilities

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2024 at 5:22 pm

AnchorFest utilities costs discussed

The aldermen outnumbered the audience at the June 10 meeting of the Centralia Board of Aldermen.

Six aldermen met before five audience members at the beginning of the Public Works and Public utilities and General Government and Public Safety committee meetings.

Preparation for the impending arrival of a new slaker, the device that will soften Centralia’s drinking water, was discussed. Aaron Kroeger, city water department foreman, said slaker room at the water plant has been painted, in anticipation of the new device’s arrival.

There is some discussion regarding finding technicians to install the slaker. One has not been found, Matt Rusch director of the city’s public works and public utilities said. He said larger municipalities with much larger, higher-priced projects have not been able to find technicians for their slaker installations. “Everything has to be precise,” he said in answer to a question regarding the installation’s difficulty from Ward II’s Don Rodgers.

Rusch said the new slaker is ready to be shipped, but the accompanying water heater will not be shipped until perhaps next month.

Osson Cox, representing the electrical department discussed that departments recent work. He said the electrical installation  for North Pointe subdivision is nearly complete. He said new electric boxes were installed for AnchorFest.

In response to a question from Ward II Alderman Robert Hudson, Centralia City Administrator Tara Strain said they did not monitor the amount of electricity and other utilities used by AnchorFest. “donating that is the city’s contribution to the event.”

Hudson said that it would be good to track such expenses as stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.

Rusch said he thought it would be a good number to know.

Strain said she would try and calculate average cost.

Mayor Chris Cox said they should be able to use the city’s SCADA system to gauge the increase in electricity flow.

“It is a question that gets asked sometime,” Hudson said. “It would be good to know what it costs the city and taxpayers.”

“We need a way to track it,” Mayor Cox agreed. “I think we have given services, but expect to track a minimal charge for their services.”

“I wouldn’t spend much time on it,” Ward III Alderman Landon Magley said, “we’ve got bigger fish to fry than a couple thousand bucks.”