At the monthly Board of Water, Electric and Communications Trustees’ meeting, the Trustees
rejected bids for two upcoming projects – the West Hill Water Dept. Storage Building Project
(2C-WD230289) and the West Substation Utility Building Project (1C-OP230555). Each project
received just one bid, and the bids came in significantly higher than project estimates.
“While MPW appreciates the time and effort taken to prepare and submit project bids,” said
General Manager, Gage Huston, “the lack of competitive bids resulted in costs that would be
unnecessarily high should the Board proceed with award. Our team is currently re-examining
the specifications and bidding options for these two projects and plans to re-bid them, with the
hope of encouraging multiple, competitive bids.”
The Trustee’s approved a revised project summary form for the Effluent Limit Guidelines (ELG)
– Unit 9 Bottom Ash System Upgrades Project (1C-GN220424). The $1.5 million project will
make improvements to Unit 9’s bottom ash water system to meet the current ELG rules.
The project aligns with Muscatine Power and Water’s (MPW) strategic initiative – Powering the
Future – and the Utility’s history of sustainability efforts. Huston commented, “Unit 9 is and will
continue to be the cornerstone of MPW’s generating units for several years to come. Unit 9’s
environmental compliance ensures protection of local natural resources, while allowing MPW to
continue to provide reliable and low-cost energy to the community.”
MPW provided an update about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed
regulation related to PFAS. The regulation – if adopted – would establish legally enforceable
levels called Maximum Contaminate Levels (MCLs) for PFAS elements. The proposed rule
would require public water systems to monitor in coordination with the Iowa Department of
Natural Resources (IDNR), provide public notification if these elements exceed certain levels,
and stipulate the reduction of contaminates if they exceed the proposed standards.
Although the EPA’s proposal has not become final yet, MPW has been monitoring the drinking
water supply in coordination with the IDNR. In addition to the approximately 60 daily water
quality tests, the Utility has initiated quarterly sampling from each of its three drinking water
Director of Utility Service Delivery, Ryan Streck commented, “MPW conducts over 14,000 water
sample tests each year to ensure our community has clean, safe drinking water, and works in concert with the IDNR to maintain compliance. Our most recent Consumer Confidence Report results highlight MPW’s diligence in keeping the community’s water supply high-quality and safe.”
Customer are encourage to read MPW’s Water Consumer Confidence Report.
The Trustees were updated on Utility financial results for May and the year-to-date. Mark
Roberts, director of finance and administrative services, explained that continued weak wholesale market conditions contributed to a negative change in net position (net loss) in May of $1.1 million, which was worse than the $0.6m net loss budget and the $0.4 million net loss a year ago. For the year through May, the Utility net loss was $0.5 million. Mr. Roberts stated, “Year-to-date results were significantly worse than budgeted for the Electric Utility due to the change in wholesale market conditions. However, the Water Utility results are below budget, but not by a significant amount, and the Communications Utility’s bottom line is somewhat better than budget.”
In other Board action, the Trustees:
- Approved payment for the May 2023 expenditures and transactions.
- Elected Board officer for July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024: Keith Porter, Chairperson, Tracy McGinnis, Vice Chairperson, Kelly Miller, Board Secretary.