Plymouth Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson gave members of the Board of Public Works and Safety an update on projects. 

The solar project at the wastewater facility on Oakhill Avenue is complete. 

The project was estimated at $1.2 million and when completed it ended up costing $1,167,000.  Davidson also reminded the board that the project qualified for a reimbursement of 40% from the Inflation Reduction Act which he estimated to be about $700,000.

The total cost of the project was split three ways, the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission, cash on hand with the utility department, and American Rescue Plan funds.

Davidson said they are starting to receive monthly evaluations of energy production.  In June, the utility’s energy consumption from NIPSCO was down 44%, and in July 40%. He said they are still working with NIPSCO to get their credit back for what they are returning to the grid. 

Councilman Jeff Houin asked about a dashboard on the city’s website that citizens to see the production and usage. 

Davidson said he is still working with Solar Resource, who installed the system and manage the apps the utility is allowed to access as they monitor the system.  Davidson said they are still looking for a way to incorporate that onto the city’s website.

The second project was the new well at the Ledyard Plant. A 16-inch well was drilled 212 feet and the casing has been installed.  Davidson said the well has been developed, and tested and is ready for a new well vault to be installed and the connections to be made so the city can start using it. 

The volume of the new well exceeds expectations.  They were hoping for 1,150 gallons a minute and the new well would pump up to 2,000 gallons a minute.  The water quality is also good. 

The cost to drill the well was approximately $108,000 and they have requests for proposals out now to complete the well vault and do the connections with a good portion of the work being completed in-house to save some money.  The Utility Superintendent hopes to have the new well up and running by the end of the year.

The third project is the Lead Service Line Inventory that has been required by IDEM.  Davidson said they have completed 98% with only 76 homeowners who haven’t allowed utility workers into the premises to check on the connections to homes.  This will require the city to dig up the connections at the water main and curb stop to check and see if they are lead. This project must be completed and submitted to IDEM by October 2024. 

Davidson estimated the cost if a home is found to have lead connections to be $5,000 to $7,000.  It’s unsure if the federal government will have enough funds to assist smaller communities with these fixes.   

The final project Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson updated the Board of Public Works and Safety on was the Flood Control Project at Plum and Garro Streets on the old Eagles Property.

Currently, they are waiting for the environmental report on asbestos in the heating and cooling system or the floor tiles or roofing material. He said this portion of the project has been ongoing for about two months.

If no remediation is needed the city will have the building demolished and removed by the end of the year.