Lisbon looks to repair water pumps despite cost

LISBON–Three of the six pumps used to provide water for village customers are broken, and the Board of Public Affairs decided to replace them even though it will leave them with only $10,000 should any other emergencies occur.

Senior water plant operator Chris Peterson reported at this week’s BPA meeting three of the six pumps broke down over the same weekend. He generally operates two pumps at a time on an alternating basis to reduce the chance of multiple pump failures and they could get by with just three, unless another one should break.

Peterson said of the three pumps in operation, one is new and another is several years old. He does not know the age of the third pump, which have a life expectancy of seven to 10 years. All three that broke down are more than 10 years old.

After the BPA moved on to other issues, village fiscal officer Tracey Wonner wondered whether the board intended to purchase three new pumps. Peterson had contacted McKay & Gould Drilling and was told it would cost $21,822 to replace the three pumps.

“If this is an emergency I’d suggest you do it,” Wonner said.

BPA Carol Petrachkoff noted there is $32,600 in unappropriated funds, and purchasing the new pumps would leave them with only $10,778. Her colleague, Bill Hoover, said even though he was also concerned about using up their reserves, they have no choice.

“I agree with Tracey that we can’t take a chance and let it ride,” Hoover said.

The well field supplies 400,000 gallons per day to 1,300 households and businesses inside and outside the village.

Peterson was promoted in February to the position of senior plant operator following the resignation of Paul McCarthy, who quit to take another job.

Hoover said they need to hire someone with the proper operating licenses who can fill in for Peterson when he is on vacation.

“You have to decide what you can afford, and right now you can’t afford anything,” Wonner warned.

Peterson suggested perhaps approaching retired senior plant operator Mike Ours to learn if he would be interested in serving in that capacity. Wonner said they could contract with Ours on an as-needed basis and pay him an hourly rate.

In other action, the BPA agreed to have an “asset management” analysis performed in conjunction with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which is requiring it be done, at an estimated cost of $20,000. The village is eligible to seek a state grant to cover half the cost.

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