By: Daniel Cooley
The February 1, 2022 Bryan Board of Public Affairs (BPA) meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by roll call. The five board members, Dick Long, Karen Ford, Jim Salsbury, Tom Sprow and Annette Schreiner, were present.
In the first order of business, the Bryan BPA approved of the meeting minutes from January 18.
Next, the Bryan BPA approved of Resolution 5, authorizing the final two payments for the purchase of the Solar field equipment, located on route 34, just west of the Bryan city limits.
“The first of our final two payments are due on February 10 and one more payment towards the end of the month and the solar field will be ours,” said Nate Gardner, director of utilities.
That was followed by a discussion of Resolution 6. In this resolution, Bryan would enter into an agreement with Gem Energy, who will operate and maintain the Bryan solar field.
Based upon litigation a few years back with the Gem Energy group, Long had some misgivings about entering into an agreement with the group. Bryan city received a settlement check two years ago, as a result of the litigation.
“I know there were hard feelings before, but there is no insurance involved here like before and I feel comfortable with what I’m having them do,” Gardner said. “They’re local and they will be just be doing maintenance for us.” The BPA voted and approved of Resolution 6, by a 4-1 margin.
Next, the BPA discussed Resolution 7. This one involved a change order involving receiving a new outrigger truck, Digger Derrick. The new change order brings the change order price from $273,749 to $297,260.
It was pointed out the new price was still below the budget price of $310,000. The city of Bryan was also assured that there will be no more price increases.
Bryan is looking for delivery of the new truck, in the November-December range.The BPA then approved of Resolution 7, by a unanimous vote.
Next, the BPA approved of Resolution 8, authorizing the transfer of $47,000 from the 509 Communications Fund to the 535 Communications Reserve Fund.
“We also had two other recent transfer funds and hopefully, we can get all three transfer funds to the city council for their consideration at their next meeting,” Gardner said. Next, with the semi-monthly disbursements in front of them, the BPA approved of paying the bills.
That was followed by Gardner stating that they were going forward with the Deerfield Project. Next, they will look for reasonable bids for the project.
Gardner also stated that this is the time of year when they will be making a year end presentation. Thus, the plan is to make presentations regarding electric and power plants over the next two meetings.
In addition, Gardner stated that “we are preparing for the winter storm and we are doing all we can, so bear with us.” Mayor Carrie Schlade then spoke.
She reminded them that during Level 3, the firemen stay at the station, so that they don’t have to drive in.
She said that there may be some office closings during the storm and reminded the “residents that if they don’t have to go out, don’t. This will also be the type of snow that is heavy and tough to shovel, so take breaks when shoveling.”
Schlade also thanked Gardner, BMU (Bryan Municipal Utilities) and the staff, for working well together. Al Sullivan, superintendent of electrical distribution, asked residents that if they are capable, to shovel so that the meters are cleared and could be read. He said that meter readers have to read about 10,000 meters in the Bryan area.
Sprow stated that it was good to have the solar field under our own power. Long stated that he still knows how to plow and if he is needed in any way, call him and he will be glad to help.
The BPA then moved into executive session.
Dan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org