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Colby anticipates refund for defective analyzer

The city of Colby expects to be reimbursed over $45,000 from a supplier that installed a defective nitrate analyzer last year as part of a project to remove contaminants from three of the city’s wells.

DPW Harland Higley told the city council Tuesday that he and engineer Mike Voss of MSA Professional Services are done waiting for Pember Companies, the general contractor on the project, and its supplier, ABB, to either fix the analyzer or replace it.

For months now, the city has been working with ABB to try and get the nitrate analyzer up and running so the city can comply with Wisconsin DNR requirements.

“We need to get this thing running,” Higley said. “We’ve got too much money in the ground.”

The city paid Pember over $400,000 to install a new transmission line from wells 9 and 12 on the south end of Colby to the water treatment plant on Clark Street. The goal is to blend water from those two wells, which had been creeping up toward the safety limit for nitrates, with water from other parts of the city.

However, until the continuous analyzer is working, the DNR won’t let the water to be blended with other city water. Higley said the city has asked the DNR if it can get by with manual, quarterly testing, but he’s heard that’s not likely.

The plan now is to use the $45,000 in refunded money from ABB to purchase an analyzer from a different vendor.

_ The council approved a 75-cent hourly raise for Lt. Alex Bowman at the Colby- Abbotsford Police Department, bringing his hourly wage to $26.09.

_ The council approved an increase in wages for the city’s election workers, with chief inspectors’ wages going from $9 to $12 per hour and inspectors’ wages from $8 to $10 per hour. Alds. Tammy Solberg and Nancy O’Brien, who serve as election workers, abstained.

_ The council approved a series of budget amendments to make the city’s 2019 expenses and revenue equal out.

_ The council approved a total of about $1.1 million in designated fund carryovers from 2019 to 2020.