published Friday, March 18th, 2011

Cleveland Utilities approves contracts

CLEVELAND, Tenn.—The Cleveland Utilities Board worked its way through a long list of contracts Thursday, three of which relate to bringing electric power to the new Whirlpool plant on Benton Pike.

“It’s obvious we have a lot of projects going on,” General Manager Tom Wheeler said.

An $85,000 contract will buy more than a mile of copper wiring that will run underground from a new electrical substation at Chatata Creek to Whirlpool. Another contract, for $54,000, will purchase nearly another mile of underground copper wiring that will feed the Chatata Creek Substation from the main power lines.

A $131,000 contract pays for site preparation and excavation for the substation.

Water Division Manager Craig Mullinax said a $360,000 waterline extension to the Whirlpool site was completed several months ago.

“Apparently a reimbursement has been approved on that project,” he said. “It would be nice to get our money back.”

The reimbursement will come through grants from the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

The utility’s contract list also included others that were more routine but more expensive.

A $418,573 contract was approved for the rehabilitation of the Eldridge Drive water storage tank. The project’s cost is split between the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years.

A contract for $293,000 will pay to replace the aging Harrison Pike sewer station.

A contract for $571,862 also was approved for inspection of the utility’s 25,000 wooden utility poles.

Wheeler said wooden poles are subject to rot, mostly below the ground, and are difficult to check visually. Osmose Utility Services Inc. will check the poles, digging around them and adding preservatives. Such inspections are done every eight to 10 years, Wheeler said.

Electric Division Manager Dennis Daniel said the utility has been moving away from wooden poles in recent years. He guessed the ratio of wooden poles to metal or concrete is now about 4-to-1.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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