Sustaining Water Reserve; Solar Bids Reviewed

MUSCATINE, Iowa–At Tuesday’s Board of Water, Electric and Communications Trustee’s meeting, the Trustees approved MPW staff to move forward to complete construction of Well 47, located at the Grandview Avenue Well Field site. Completing the well will aid in sustaining reserve capacity during summer demand.

A recent maximum pumping test was conducted due to water demand being notably higher than
anticipated so far this year. That test determined anticipated summer water demand can be met
with existing wells. However, the Utility would not be able to maintain the typical level of reserve
capacity. Water Utility staff developed a recommendation to complete Well 47 to achieve a more
comfortable reserve target. “MPW has an opportunity usually not present in this situation,”
explained General Manager Gage Huston.

The Utility has an uncompleted well available from a 2017 project, which is currently in litigation.

Staff worked with legal counsel and determined continuing development of the well would not
adversely affect the pending legal outcome. A contractor has been identified that is expected to
have the capability to finish development of the well and put it in service before the expected
summer demand peak.

“We’re thrilled to see that our industrial customers are experiencing higher water usage due to
their production levels being high,” shared Ryan Streck, director of utility service delivery. “The
Water Utility is being proactive in its steps to increase reserve capacity to avoid any possible
curtailment events that could have a negative impact on customer operations.

The approved expenditure for final construction of Well 47 infrastructure totals $625,386, a
$148,500 increase.

The Trustee’s and Utility senior leadership went into closed session to discuss a preliminary
review of bids received for MPW’s proposed 30 MW solar array project. As discussed at MPW’s
Powering the Future Customer Forum on May 19, MPW is seeking proposals to add solar to its
existing generating portfolio. No Board action was taken after the closed session.

MPW had a net loss for the month of $180,239, but that loss was $330,063 better than the
budgeted net loss. Mark Roberts, director of finance and administrative services noted, “all three
utilities performed better in April than expected, and for the year to date, MPW earnings are
$4.2M better than budget.”

Huston reminded the Trustees the Muscatine High School graduation ceremony will be replayed
on Channel 9 and is available on MPW TV’s Local Video on Demand system for those who
missed the ceremony.

Muscatine Community College, in partnership with Pearl City Media (Discover Muscatine),
broadcast the ceremony live on MPW Public Access, CVIC TV and streamed it online. This was
the first year the ceremony was broadcast and recorded in full, high definition.

“Due to ongoing COVID concerns, family attendance was once again limited,” shared Huston.
“But family near and far were still able to celebrate the graduates on this milestone event.”

In other Board action:

  • Ratified payment of April 2021 expenditures and transactions totaling 9,670,027.99
  • Awarded the contract for Unit 9 Cafeteria Room Recover to Black Hawk Roofing, Inc. of Cedar Falls, IA for a total of $116,900.

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