Albion approves $71,400 in emergency replacement of 2 pumps at water plant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 April 2021 at 11:59 am

ALBION – The Village Board on Monday evening approved spending $71,400 to replace two 30-foot-long pumps at the water treatment plant.

The village has three pumps for bringing in water from Lake Ontario, and uses the third pump as a backup. The two main pumps are “failing rapidly,” Adam Rush, the chief operator, told the Village Board.

The Village Board declared the situation an emergency, which allows Albion to buy the pumps and have them installed without doing the normal competitive bidding process. If the village did that process, with preparing bid specifications and doing the legal notice postings, it could add another 4-5 weeks before the new pumps could be in place.

Even with the emergency declaration, Rush said it will take 6 to 8 weeks to get the new pumps, which need to be built specifically for Albion’s needs for depth and pressure. The installation will require bringing in a crane to take out the old pumps and put in the new ones.

Rush expects the old pumps will hold up until the new ones are in place, but the current ones are functioning at reduced capacity. They are pumping 1.9 million gallons of water a day now, and they are vibrating, making loud noises and “they shake violently,” Rush told the board. He doesn’t think they would hold up for the village’s peak water demand of 2.4 million gallons a day in summer.

“We are slowing down the pumping to preserve them,” he said. “Right now we can’t go full throttle.”

Besides providing water for the village, Albion’s water plant is the supplier for several towns in the county.

“This is our water,” said Mayor Eileen Banker. “We have to be able to provide water.”

The pumps are about 8 years old. They pull water from the lake that can have high turbidity, with sand, sediment and sometimes mud that takes a toll on the pump parts.

The village will pay for the new pumps out of the water department’s fund balance. The water fund includes $18,000 this budget year for service pumps.

Fire contracts approved with towns of Gaines, Albion

In other action on Monday, the Village Board approved new 2-year contracts for the village to provide fire protection and emergency services to the towns of Albion and Gaines.

The Town of Albion will pay a 5 percent increase to $109,455 in 2021, and then another 3 percent increase in 2022 to $112,739.

The Town of Gaines will pay 5 percent more in 2021 for $110,250, and then a 3 percent increase in 2022 for $113,557.50.

Albion will pay the amount in quarterly payments while Gaines agreed to a lump sum by April 15 each year.

Albion is considering creating a joint fire district which would take the fire department out of the village budget. If that happens, with the fire district becoming its own taxing entity, the fire contracts between the village and the two towns would become void.

• The board renewed a lease with State Assemblyman Steve Hawley for his district office at 121 North Main St., the Albion Visitors Center. Hawley will be billed a 2 percent increase to $1,391.93 a month.

The board also approved the following appointments for 2021-22:

  • Linda Babcock as the Fair Housing Officer for a term of one year.
  • Karen Conn to the Planning Board for a term of five years.
  • Trellis Pore for a term of five years to the Zoning Board.
  • Bernard Baldwin, Mike Beach, Annette Finch, Saul Harrison, Carly Ward and Terry Wilbert to the Recreation Committee for terms of one year each.
  • Mary Ann Braunbach to the Historic Preservation Commission for a term of four years.
  • Pam Davies, Lisa DeCarlo and Carol Tibbitts to the Grievance Committee for a one year term each.