LaFayette superintendents give ASEM inspection reports

Published 8:25 am Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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At the first regularly scheduled LaFayette City Council meeting with the new council in place, Superintendents Ann Gleaton and Richard Chapman briefed the council on their Alabama Department of Environmental Management inspection letters.

Gleaton, who is the superintendent at the water-treatment plant, said her letter was in reference to the repairs needed to the city’s clear well.

The clear well is used to allow the chlorine to sit in the water, which disinfects the water.

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“It’s going to be a process,” Gleaton said. “Not only is the clear well going to be down for six to eight weeks, but we’re also going to have to figure out a way to supply the town with water. I’m working with ADEM right now. What they’re saying now is we might have to run the plant slower and for 24 hours in order to get the contact time with the chlorine.”

Gleaton said the city has put in a grant application to help pay for the repairs, changing out rusted parts and replacing the curtain inside the actual clear well. The city should know by the end of November if they will receive the grant.

If the city does not receive the grant, it will need to pay for its own repairs.

The repairs needed for the clear well would cost the city more than $125,000 according to Gleaton. The cost to replace the valves would be $55,000 while fixing the clear well will cost $75,000.

“Just to be clear, those are not engineering estimates,” city attorney Mack Tucker said. “Those are inspector estimates. Once an engineer gets in there, it might be more or less, depending on what exactly the scope of the work turns out.”

For Chapman, ADEM wanted the city to install backflow preventers at the schools, nursing home and the laundry mat. Each preventer costs roughly $500.

“The good thing about the backflow preventer is I can install them,” Chapman said. “We only have to install four.”

Gleaton has to respond with a letter to ADEM by Nov. 20 saying the council would move forward on these projects with or without a grant.

“We have to show them that we’re trying to do something,” Chapman said.

Councilmember Tony B. Thomas suggested that the council’s utility department committee would get together and find the best solution to the problems on Tuesday. After the meeting, they would bring up their discussion to the other council members before the Nov. 20 deadline.

The only resolution on the agenda dealt with the corrosion inhibitor bid. When the previous mayor and council bid for the chemicals a couple of months ago, the corrosion inhibitor was left off the previous bid. CedarChem LLC won the bid for the inhibitor at $1.49 per pound.

Also at the meeting, Terry Mangram took his oath of office. He missed the previous meeting because his family was dealing with COVID-19.