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City to purchase $1 million generator

Springfield wants water plant to operate in event of emergency.

An emergency back-up generator at the Water Treatment Plant will cost approximately $1 million, according to city documents.

The city supplies water to approximately 85,000 residents in Springfield and Clark County.

The generator will have the capacity to power the two largest high-service pumps at the Water Plant, Moore said.

Lisa D’Allessandris, the director of the Clark County Emergency Management Agency, said she’s excited the city is moving forward with the project.

“Anything that can help in the event of an emergency is going to be a good thing for the entire community,” D’Allessandris said.

Commissioners will vote next week on awarding a contract in the amount of $1,006,950 to Dayton-based ESI Inc. for the purchase and installation of a 2.25-megawatt back-up generator at the plant, 201 Eagle City Road.

The city requested proposals for a 2-megawatt generator, which included an alternate proposal for a 2.25-megawatt generator. The bids for the 2-megawatt generator ranged from approximately $922,000 to $1.1 million, but officials opted to purchase the larger generator.

“We made sure it was sized to handle more than our average demand,” said Chris Moore, the city’s service director.

Moore said he was pleased with the final bid, the lowest of four that ranged from approximately $1 million to $1.299 million. The highest bid came from Springfield-based Triec Electric Services Inc. Dayton-based York Electric ($1.033 million) and Cincinnati-based DeBra Kuempel ($1.237 million) also submitted bids.

The generator will be paid for through the water department’s capital improvement fund.

“It’s been planned for several years,” Moore said.

The higher capacity will allow for more water to be pumped during a critical time of need, Moore said.

“There could be a lot of fires and we could be pumping extra water for those fires,” Moore said. “There could be broken water pipes.”

Tornadoes such as the recent ones in Illinois and Indiana in which houses were torn from their foundation could also lead to other large leaks.

“Their water just spews into the air, so the water demand goes up, unfortunately,” Moore said.

The generator was also sized to accommodate large businesses that move to the area who also have a high demand for water.

“In an emergency, we would be able to continue to service those customers,” Moore said.

If the bid is awarded at the next commission meeting, installation of the generator is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The generators are made on an as-needed basis, said Moore, who was not sure how long it would take to be constructed.

Other city facilities, including City Hall, the City Service Center and the Wastewater Treatment Plant among others, have emergency generators, but the Water Plant was built without one.

Residents are currently in no danger of losing water in an emergency because the plant is powered by two separate grids, Moore said. The generator is just another safeguard to make sure water service is not interrupted in a time of need.

D’Allessandris said the local EMA spends a majority of its time in “preparedness mode,” making plans in the case of an emergency situation. Safeguards like a back-up generator will help make those situations run smoothly.

“When those events do happen, it makes it a more efficient process to respond and recover,” D’Allessandris said.

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