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McPherson Commissioners Raise BPU Board Monthly Salary


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — The members of the governing board of the McPherson Board of Public Utilities are in for a raise. McPherson City Commissioners Tuesday approved raising the monthly salary for the BPU Board including that of the City Commissioner who serves as an ex-officio member, to $1,300. The 500 dollar per month raise is the first increase since 2008, and General Manager Josh Bedel said it’s in line with other governing board pay based on data from the American Public Power Association.

Commissioners approved an expenditure just over $29,000 for appliances and beds that will go in the new fire station. All of those items are being purchased locally through Mattress Haven, and it may be noted a lot of the items were bought for a slightly lower price than quoted from big box stores.

Commissioners also approved a payment of $3,946 to First Wireless for optimization and programming of Fire Department radios, a process that ensures they remain on frequency and function appropriately in mission critical communications.

A new sewer truck the Commission authorized purchase of in May of 2022 will cost a bit more than they originally thought. The new truck, purchased from Key Equipment, has finally arrived after 14 months, and the final invoice on it came to just over $540,000. That is $22,000 more than the original bid. When the bids for the truck were opened last year, the city was advised the quoted price was not guaranteed, given the supply chain and other factors being seen in many sectors right now.

Three change orders on various projects were approved. One of the change orders, on the 2023 mill and overlay projects with Kansas Paving, reduced the final contract amount by nearly $65,000 reflecting final quantities and the fact concrete intersections were not milled or overlaid as had been included in the original contract.

An add order of just over $56,000 was approved on Pearson Construction’s contract for the South Main C-CLIP overlay, also to adjust quantities to reflect what was actually used and also to correct striping calculations done incorrectly. The other change order was with Andale Construction for $461.89 to repair a sprinkler system that was damaged during the South Walnut reconstruction project.

An equipment replacement for the problematic Avenue A and Main traffic signals was approved by the McPherson City Commission Tuesday. Cause of the issues was that an existing control cabinet was not supplying enough power to the lights causing them to malfunction. There were also issues with pedestrian lights, which were also needing to be upgraded to LED countdown ones.

The equipment is being purchased from Gades Sales, which handles all of the city’s traffic signal equipment, with L&S Electric doing the installation with a combined total cost of just over $14,000. The Commission also approved purchase of replacement street signs on the Walnut Street project, which will cost $2,500.

The final payment on roof repairs from a May 26, 2021, hailstorm was approved by McPherson City Commissioners Tuesday. This payment of $59.424.90 covers the remaining metal roofs damaged in that storm along with roof work at the Municipal Center. This payment to Wray Roofing of Newton closes out the accounting for this storm.

Among other actions Tuesday the Commission approved renewal of the beer license for Pizza Hut on East Kansas and closure of part of the intersection of Marlin and Elm Sept. 21. in connection with KDOT’s Walk Bike Roll Kansas Active Transportation Summit being held at the Community Building.

The Commission approved an internal transfer of an employee from cemetery maintenance worker to facilities maintenance worker and authorized the start of the hiring process for a new cemetery maintenance worker. Also approved was the seasonal hiring of a worker at the Community Building to also work at Turkey Creek Golf Course.

Commissioners also agreed to waive Community Building Rental Fees for the McPherson Fireman’s and Police Benefit Associations for upcoming events they are having including the Fireman’s Ball and banquet this Saturday and Police Appreciation Night on Nov. 17. The waver only applies to the facility rental fee and no other charges for extras they may wish to have.