Bellaire unveils plan

BELLAIRE Dan Marling unveiled the village’s strategic plan for the water department during Thursday’s council meeting.

It’s the first of what figures to be multiple plans as part of the village’s overall strategy for moving forward.

Utilizing a laptop and projector to illustrate his plans, Marling spelled out a six-priority strategy for improving the water department and its distribution capabilities.

In addition, Marling began by describing one issue that needs to be addressed before the end of 2013. Call it preliminary work before the bulk of the strategic plan work can begin.

“The first step was to figure out what needed completed this year,” Marling began.

First up is to replace the iron work in the west circulation bed at the water plant along with continuing to seek practicable ways to remove sludge from the plant.

The iron work replacement has an estimated cost of $18,000 and Marling is hoping it can be replaced by December.

First Priority

First up on the strategic plan is the rock hill water project.

Marling wants to see the water and pumping station replaced.

But with an estimated total cost of approximately $600,000, grant funding from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and other avenues is a must.

This project is in the design stage with an estimated design cost of $62,071.70 on a 2-percent, 5-year loan.

Marling hopes to seek the EPA design loan in early 2014, followed by moving forward with the actual project sometime in 2015.

Second Priority

Next on the list is the replacement of one of the three high service water pumps and check valves at the village’s water plant.

These pumps are what enable water to be transported to the water tanks from the plant.

Replacement costs are estimated at $80,000 per tank. Only two of the three tanks are currently in operation. If a second would happen to go down, it would cause big problems for water service in the village.

The third pump has been out of service for two years.

Marling hopes to have the design of the pump and valve completed by Jan. of 2014 and have in installed by the spring.

Third Priority

Replacing and upgrade the water distribution lines and valves in the village is next on the list.

This will be an ongoing project with no estimated cost as of yet. Naturally, with a project this expansive, grant funding from the EPA, RCAP and other sources will be a necessity.

“A lot of lines in this town are 100 years old,” Marling said. “When we go to dig them up (for repairs) it’s an adventure.

“The guys do the best they can to make the repairs that result from age, stress, etc.

The goal is to identify the problem areas and seek a grant and/or loan for the design phase and have the project moving forward by 2015.

Fourth Priority

Marling wants to have the roof and soffit fascia at the water plant itself replaced at an estimated cost of $100,000.

He hopes to have the contract bid out during the winter and get moving on replacement during the spring of 2014.

Fifth Priority

Flushing and a replacement program for the village’s fire hydrants is next on the list.

Marling estimated that the hydrants cost roughly $2,500 apiece to be replaced and that the village has anywhere between 15-18 hydrants that will need to be replaced.

He’s hoping the project can be encumbered yearly at $25,000, beginning in the spring of 2014.

His aim is to replace all of the non-functioning hydrants in the spring and summer of next year and have a functional flushing program in place by the spring.

Sixth Priority

Finally, Marling wants to get a plan in place so that the water plant vehicle can be replaced on a consistent basis, without having to scramble at the last minute for additional funding to do so.

The estimated cost is $10,000, which can be set aside in a vehicle replacement fund in the department’s budget.

The department recently purchased a used cruiser from the Bellaire Police Department, keeping the money in-house. That vehicle is being utilized by the meter reader. It is the department’s van that will soon be in need of replacement.

“That gives everyone a bird’s eye glimpse of what we’ve been talking about,” Marling said. “I thank the mayor, utilities committee and the staff for their help.

“Next up will be a plan for the street and sanitation departments and we are working on having those together in a month or so.

“We want to come out and start 2014 with a good game plan and understanding of where we are going.”

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