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Fayette authority to consider earmarking $183K for generators

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The North Fayette County Municipal Authority has agreed to consider the possibility of earmarking $183,000 in Rural Utilities Service funding to purchase generators that would provide stand-up power in case of an emergency situation.

John Tomaro of Widmer Engineering said he discussed possible uses for the leftover money with the Department of Agriculture's RUS department. One of the authority's options would be to purchase a truck that would be equipped to haul a portable generator to its pumping stations throughout the service area.

Because generators are very expensive, Tomaro said it would not be feasible for the authority to pay $60,000 to $80,000 to purchase a generator for each pumping station. He recommended the authority purchase a portable generator.

“An employee for RUS said we could use the money to purchase a portable generator,” Tomaro said. “I thought it would be a good idea in case of an emergency. If there was a power outage and a fire in the same area at the same time, we could possibly lose our pumping capability, and our customers would be out of water until the power was restored.”

Instead of the authority giving the money back to RUS, Tomaro said he believes it would be a better use of the funding, which is partially a grant and low-interest loan.

Authority members said they would ask management employees to discuss the option and then make a recommendation to authority members at the October meeting.

Tomaro said the money was remaining from a recent project at Little Summit.

“We wanted to use some of the money to install handicapped-accessible bathrooms in our municipal authority building, but we found out that it would be very difficult for us to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. It would cost a lot more money to make those changes to the building.”

After Tuesday's meeting, authority members met in executive session to negotiate details of its upcoming contract with its employees who are union members. The current contract expires Dec. 31.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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