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LMU reviews costs for water main replacement project

Lenox Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees reviewed the costs and timeline for the water main replacement project, agreed to increase tapping fee, and approved an internship at their meeting on June 9.
Austin Sonntag from Snyder & Associates was present to review the water main project. The project will include replacement of:
-6,100 linear feet 4” water main
-17,300 linear feet 6” water main
-875 linear feet 8” water main
-1,658 linear feet 10” water main
-289 service connections
-associated valves, hydrants, and fittings.
LMU has received a $500,000 CDBG grant and the remainder of the financing, $2,270,000, will come from a USDA loan at 1.75%. Estimated monthly payment is $6,583.
Bid letting will be done at 2 p.m. on July 7 and a public hearing will be held on July 14 in the Lenox City Council chambers during LMU’s regular monthly meeting. Completion date is estimated to be December 23, 2023.
The board reviewed tapping rate fee. Currently, it is $50.00 and has been at that rate for more than 10 years. They agreed to raise it to $125. The board will approve a resolution for the increase at the July meeting.
Zach Schmitz is a graduate of Southwestern Community College. As part of his education, he is required to take a six week internship. He is working in communications. They visited with the personnel committee on wage. An internship does not require a wage, but they talked about $15.00 per hour because he has expenses getting to and from work. If they would retain him after the internship is over, wages would be reviewed. The board approved to pay him $15.00 per hour.
The board agreed to discontinue the energy rebate program and replace it with something else. CIPCO has discontinued their rebate program as of January 1, 2022 because most things are energy efficient. It was originally started to promote energy. Any energy rebate applied for by customers now would come out of LMU’s funds. The Iowa Utilities Board said the utility company must do something to promote energy efficiency such as LED light bulbs or programmable thermostats.
The board approved to end the rebate program and work on alternatives to promote energy efficiency.

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