Friday, January 6, 2012

Wellsville Sewage Forced Main Line Break Declared An Emergency

Thursday – January 5: Wellsville's much talked about forced main sewage line was Mayor Susan Haugh's first declared emergency repair job. While doing his routine morning inspections of the village's sewage pump stations yesterday Plant Manager Greg Stewart discovered a leak at the 2nd Street station. Wellsville has two pump stations that move raw sewage to the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). One is located near the flood wall at 2nd Street and the other is at the lower end of the village. Stewart manages the STP for United Water. United Water is the contract operator for the plant. Stewart or his assistant routinely checks both of them daily.

Installed sometime during the 1950s decade the aging forced main has been a replacement project on the front burner looking for funding to become available. Line breaks have become a routine matter the last few years along the line. The line runs from the 2nd Street pump station to the STP, mostly along the riverside. Although not successful Village officials have been looking for grant funding for the past few years to replace the line. Having already been engineered it is shelf ready as soon as public works funds loosen up for such projects.

With raw sewage flowing onto the ground fixing the break was declared an emergency. Allison Contracting was called in to do the repairs. The Mayor reported the leak was located and repaired around 5 AM this morning. The line is 13 feet underground and the wet ground proved challenging while excavating. The break was located practically in the same spot where recent digging took place that left the soil already loosened. As of late this morning workmen were filling the hole back in.

Pictured here is Mayor Haugh checking the progress and conferring with owner Noah Allison of Allison Contracting late Thursday afternoon as preparations for digging was being done.

ole nib


Anonymous said...

Awe. Look at the pretty pink boots! Such a girl :-) You go Mayor!!!

Susan A. Haugh said...

Well, after four years, I am finally about to comment on your blog! It feels a bit scary. lol.
First and foremost Nib, thank you for all that you do for Wellsville! You do an excellent job of covering things and consistently keep a positive undertone in your writings. I honestly believe that attitude will be the biggest key to Wellsville’s success.
One thing I would like to help do, while in office, is educate the public (to the best of my ability) on how certain things must be done according to the Ohio Revised Code. This is the book of laws which govern the state of Ohio and can be found at: The ORC supersedes any ordinance that Wellsville has.
So, the first lesson of the year (lol) is the difference between the terms “emergency” and “declare an emergency”. If an emergency repair is projected to cost over $25,000.00, the mayor can “declare an emergency”, BUT ONLY with council’s approval . I’ll use this sewer line break as an example: Thom and I spoke with Allison’s Contracting and we were assured that this repair would not exceed $25,000. We told them that if it even looked as if it was going to creep toward this figure to stop all work and contact us immediately because I would have to call an emergency council meeting for their approval. Although this repair was an emergency, I did not have to actually “declare an emergency” since costs would be under $25,000 and it was not necessary to have council’s approval. (I did keep the majority of council abreast of the situation though.)
In a nutshell: Our Administrator is permitted to spend up to $25,000.00 without council’s approval. If an emergency arises, and the ‘fix’ is estimated to cost more than this amount, an emergency council meeting must be called and the Mayor must ask for council’s approval to exceed this amount and to bypass the bidding process. This is when the term changes from “emergency” to, “declare an emergency”. *Note: If it is not an emergency, any project over $25,000 must be put out for bid.
I learned something through this as well. To the best of my knowledge, we do not have a ‘grab and go’ contract in place for these types of emergency situations. Although I trust the Allison’s word that this is not going to exceed $25,000, we may not always be dealing with admirable people like Mark and Noah. I need to better protect the taxpayers’ monies by implementing an estimate contract, in the case of an emergency. This will be done next week.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Susie aka Your Mayor =)

************* said...

Madam Mayor - Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to comment. Don't be scared. We may growl occassionally but we don't bite! And thanks for the kind words but we think you're giving us way too much credit.

Your comment was educational for me and we're sure for others as well. We have always been a little fuzzy understanding the "declared emergency".

Taking the time to thoroughly research everything is a credit to you which we're sure will carry on in you new Village Administration.