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Local

Utica OKs purchase of used auxiliary pump

Following an endorsement by Utica Public Works Director Curt Spayer, village trustees approved the purchase of an auxiliary pump Thursday.

Before the vote, Spayer explained to the trustees the difference between a gas-powered pump and a diesel unit.

"The old pump (nicknamed "Old Blue" by the village maintenance department) was in service since the mid-1980s before it failed some time ago," Spayer said. He reminded the trustees he had to rent a pump during the last major rain event for the protection of the village's sanitary system.

"In emergency scenarios, a reliable auxiliary pump is a necessity (for the village's sewer lagoon)."

Spayer said a gas-powered unit would have a less gallons-per-minute pumping capability and would have a shorter life span than a more powerful, yet more expensive diesel one. 

"It would be a significant savings (to the village overall) to purchase a used, 3-year-old pump for around $26,000," he said. He told the board a new diesel pump would cost nearly $47,000.

Trustees gave Spayer tentative approval -— depending on an examination of the unit's service record — to negotiate the used pump purchase up to a maximum of $28,000.

Lights over Mill Street

Mayor David Stewart won the board's approval for installing decorative criss-crossing lights over Mill Street (the downtown block). He said the Utica Business Association will donate $6,000 to the project while an anonymous donor had contributed $2,500.

"That leaves $10,135 (for a total of $18,635) for the village's portion," said Stewart. Following the board's approval, the mayor speculated the lights would be up sometime in mid-May.

Casey's update

Village Engineer Kevin Heitz told the trustees about the ongoing construction of the new Casey's General Store on U.S. 6 and Route 178 north of the village. He told them it was his understanding new employees were in training. Heitz said no firm opening date for the convenience store/gas station has yet to be announced by the company.

Before adjournment, the board also approved an amendment to the recent adopted abandoned/unoccupied property ordinance which would waive the now-required monthly fees if the structure was under serious renovation.

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