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Forest City enters into $256,000 contract with company for electric upgrades

  • Jul 23, 2021 9:50 am GMT
Forest City Summit

The Forest City Council adopted a resolution awarding a $256,000 contract to Harold K. Scholz Company of Ralston, Nebraska, for its additional south substation capacitor banks installation and supervisory control and data acquisition power plant improvements.

No written or verbal comments were received in a public hearing preceding the vote on the resolution.

Electric department superintendent Duane Kuhne said he is pleased because the company handled south substation construction in 2008 and the bid came in well below the original $365,000 cost estimate and $340,000 engineer's estimate for the projects.

SCADA is a control system architecture comprised of computers, networked data communications, and interfaces for management purposes. The SCADA work will include the removal and replacement of existing communications processors, revenue meters, relays and controls, and communications wiring.

The substation work will improve south side power factors in the area where Winnebago Industries, 3M, and CDI facilities are located. The new capacitors will do this by providing automation to allow electricity to flow properly at all times, which will upgrade the health of the system.

In other business:

In a change of course from its July 6 meeting, the council passed a different resolution in support of the former Irish Hospital redevelopment project application for Iowa Economic Development Workforce Housing tax credits. The former resolution noted that the council agreed to provide a grant of $250,000 toward the project development of up to 10 apartments.

The resolution in support of the application now cites a $250,000, no-interest, 20-year loan from the city in support of the building conversion to apartments. The Forest City Municipal Electric Utility anticipates recouping loan costs over time through increased electrical usage. The loan payments would start upon substantial completion of the project.

Forest City Economic Development Director Beth Bilyeu and developer Kristen Fish-Peterson both said costs for the project have increased significantly. In addition, $107,000 is now needed for a water connections and a sprinkler system.

City Attorney Steve Bakke reported that the Housing Commission is requesting that rules be waived for the water main extension through an additional $54,100 in loan funds to connect water service. In return, additional funds will not be requested for general rehabilitation.

Construction is anticipated from November through June 2022. City Administrator/Clerk Daisy Huffman said the city has available funds available for the water service connection costs.

Bilyeu showed several new renderings for the proposed Irish Hospital Apartments. She said that it appears likely that the back addition may not remain a part of the building after water-related damages, which could reduce the number of apartments from 10 to eight.

"I don't think it's going to make it, which will leave more room for parking," she said.

Council member Tony Mikes called the Irish Hospital project a big win, noting that the city has needed additional housing.

The council approved a $5,200 utility pole inspection quote of Utility Asset Management, Inc. to do sonic and visual testing on 400 poles.

Electric department superintendent Duane Kuhne said many poles are from the 1970s and are located along Crystal Lake Road and in the Westgate area, housing 600-amp electric circuits. He noted that sonic testing to six feet above the ground is necessary because testing alone is not sufficient to find potential concerns.

The council approved a request to extend a noise resolution to midnight for the VIP Lounge Beer Garden on July 24 during Puckerbrush Days.

The council approved a first payment of $44,952.51 to Nebcon Inc. for work on Phase 1D of the city's electric distribution improvements project.

Council members announced that the Forest City Vet Clinic relocation grand opening will be from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 7. Also, a National Night Out event has been scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on August 5 in front of the Winnebago County Courthouse.

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