Sulzer Turbo Services receives $1M contract

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA —The Piqua City Commission awarded a $1 million contract to Sulzer Turbo Services for the inspection and repair of the #9 gas turbine during their meeting on Tuesday evening. According to the staff report, the expected expenditure for 2015 is $457,800, and the expected expenditure for 2016 is $542,200.

The Piqua Power System has two gas turbines, and the #9 gas turbine will be 50 years old in 2016.

“Both of these turbines provide a great resource to this city,” Assistant Power System Director Nick Berger said. “And it provides a cost-savings to citizens of just over $1 million a year.”

The #9 gas turbine has never undergone a complete inspection, according to Berger. As part of the Piqua Power System’s preventative maintenance plan, they will need to perform a complete inspection to prevent any possibility of a major failure, Berger said. Berger explained that the power system released a request for quotation (RFQ), and three companies responded. EthosEnergy’s proposal was the low bid, but they did not satisfy the power system’s project scope. The power system wanted to go with Sulzer Turbo Services.

“There are three areas where they did not supply a cost,” Commissioner Joe Wilson said about the Sulzer Turbo Services proposal.

“They cannot give us a comprehensive list of what needs to be done until they take it part,” Berger said.

Wilson stated that the other two companies did.

Berger explained that one of the reasons that they did not go with EthosEnergy’s proposal was the city of Bryan recently had to switch mid-project from EthosEnergy to Sulzer Turbo Services. Berger stated that the power system did not believe EthosEnergy would meet their standards.

“I think this comes to the point where we have to trust the staff and their expertise on this,” Mayor Lucy Fess said.

The third bidder, Pro Engery, did also provide costs for the three areas that Sulzer Turbo Services did not. Berger explained that another difference between the proposals was that each company had a different philosophy in regards to fixing the gas turbine. Berger explained that they believed Sulzer Turbine Services would provide them with the best quality.

“I feel we would have a very nice finished product,” Berger said. The power system previously used Sulzer Turbine Services on rebuilding their #8 gas turbine, which Berger stated was a successful project.

City Attorney Stacy Wall also pointed out that inspecting and repairing this gas turbine is necessary for the city in order for them to get insurance again. “When #8 went down, we lost our insurance,” she said.

Wall explained that if #9 goes down, then the cost of it will come entirely out of pocket. “We really need to complete these repairs if we even have a chance of getting insurance,” she said.

The commission then adopted the resolution.

During the meeting, the commission also brought back an ordinance for a third reading that was tabled during their July 21 meeting. The proposed ordinance would establish consistent curfews throughout the city parks as well as smoking policies for the city parks. The ordinance was previously tabled in order for the Park Board to look at and discuss the proposed ordinance.

“They did not make any changes whatsoever to the proposed ordinance,” Wall said.

Fess then stated that a resident contacted her with concerns about the severity of a first-degree misdemeanor charge for violating the proposed smoking prohibitions in the park.

Wall explained that the maximum punishment of a first-degree misdemeanor is up to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail, but inflicting the maximum punishment on an offender is not mandatory. Wall stated that the judge could decide to give a low fine, such as $50. Factors such as the offender’s prior record and the nature of the offense play into the sentencing.

“It’s written as a first-degree misdemeanor to show the seriousness of the offense,” Wall said.

“I don’t smoke, but I think that’s excessive,” Commissioner Bill Vogt said. “If that’s in there, I won’t vote on it.”

The commission then discussed the possibility of changing the degree of the misdemeanor to simply a minor misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $150. That maximum is also not a mandatory one.

“We could enhance the penalty for a subsequent offense,” Wall said.

The commissioners then agreed to increase the degree of the charge up to a first-degree misdemeanor for repeat offenses.

“A minor misdemeanor should be a wake-up call and if it’s not, the next time should be their wake-up call,” Commissioner John Martin said.

The commission unanimously approved amending the proposed ordinance, but the discussion over the ordinance was not over. Wilson stated that he wanted to remove the Public Square Park and Veteran’s Memorial Way from section 94.23. That portion of the ordinance would make it unlawful for someone to walk across the grass or park on either side of the park after dark.

“I don’t think that’s breaking the law,” Wilson said. Wilson did not want to inhibit customers of the downtown businesses.

“I’m not in favor in changing it,” Commissioner Judy Terry said.

“It’s our public square, it’s not really a park,” Martin said.

The ordinance was tabled once again after an extensive discussion by a vote of 4 to 1, with Terry voting against tabling the ordinance.

For the last item on the order of old business, the commission held the second reading of an ordinance that will levy special assessments to pay for the cost of nuisance abatement assessments. This ordinance will allow for the city to collect a total of $82,760.36.

The following items were also approved:

  • An ordinance removing “no right turn on red” rules from seven intersections for drivers in the city code and adding one to the intersection of Park Avenue and Broadway
  • An ordinance making appropriations to be made for the city of Piqua for 2015
  • A resolution setting the time and place for a public hearing on the renewal and amendment of the Franchise Agreement in accordance with Charter Section 106 of the city of Piqua
  • A resolution allowing preliminary consent legislation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for work on the MIA-36-11.74 bridges over Interstate 75 within the city of Piqua
  • A resolution allowing preliminary legislation with ODOT for the pavement planning and resurfacing of U.S. Route 36 from RM Davis Parkway to South College Street within the city of Piqua
  • A resolution allowing an agreement with Access Engineering Solutions to make changes to the Engineering Design Services for the North Main Street Streetscape Project

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall