COVINGTON — Due to new guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the village of Covington is starting an asset management program to keep track of the resources in their water system.
“I have begun working with a company called Facility Dude to collect data for our EPA required asset management program,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said during his report at the Covington Council meeting Monday evening.
The village will begin with cataloging their fire hydrants as they flush them next week. They will then move on to water system valves, curb shut off valves, water pumps, water towers, and so on. Busse said that once the collection of the data is complete, the GPS locations of their water system assets will show on a map of the village.
“This system is also a work order (and) record keeping system, which is also required by the EPA,” Busse said.
Council member Joyce Robertson asked what the purpose of the asset management program was.
“The purpose is so that they can assure themselves that we’re maintaining this equipment,” Busse said. The EPA is looking to make sure that municipalities do not forget or neglect to maintain aging or dilapidated equipment in regard to the their water systems.
“The whole idea behind that is that you know what equipment you have, you put a condition on it, and you make a plan to maintain that equipment,” Busse said. “They’re looking for a plan for replacing things. What’s happening in the United States today, just like it is in Covington, is you can’t afford to maintain all this stuff, and there’s not enough grants out there or anything like that, so they’re making sure that people have thought about all of that and pricing their commodity, which is water and sewer, accordingly, so they can cover the maintenance on this.”
While noting that Covington has managed to replace aging parts over time, Busse said that some communities put that off due to how expensive the maintenance aspect of operating water and sewer systems can get.
“Over time, every year as it goes by, every pipe in the ground gets older, every valve in the ground gets older, every fire hydrant gets older, and if you don’t do regular maintenance on those things and replace them — as we’ve been doing over the past few years — that bill just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and at some point, it implodes on itself,” Busse said. “So they’re trying to make sure that you have a plan in place and not do that.”
The asset management program must be completed by around March of next year.
In regard to new legislation, the council waived the three-reading rule and approved entering into a one-year contract with Hylant Insurance for liability insurance through the Ohio Plan. This year’s cost to renew the plan was $27,929. That cost is down from last year’s renewal price, which was $28,536.
“Ohio Plan has been very good to work with,” Busse said. He noted that the amount of properties that the village is having covered has gone up, but the cost of the rates for that coverage with the Ohio Plan has gone down.
Busse also added that other insurance companies discussed providing liability insurance to the village but none of them provided quotes.
In regard to old business, the council held the second reading of a resolution that would enter the village into a federal Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) let project agreement with ODOT. This will be for the High Street reconstruction project.
The village will also be holding a design meeting for the High Street reconstruction project. The meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 28, at 5 p.m. The meeting is open to public.
Also during their meeting, the council approved the purchase of Halloween candy at an amount not to exceed $200. The council established trick or treat night to take place on Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m., matching the rest of the municipalities in the county.
Mayor Ed McCord also invited the public to the Optimist Club’s Halloween Costume Contest that will be held on Oct. 26, starting at 7 p.m. on Wright Street.
The council also approved the donation of $200 to the Covington Chamber for the Candlelight Christmas event. McCord said that this is a yearly donation.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336