On a 4-2 vote Monday night, the Commerce City Council elected to contract with ESG Operations, Inc. to operate its water treatment plant and maintain its four water tanks.
The city will pay ESG $589,000 a year for that service. The fee covers up to $64,000 in repairs and up to $80,000 for chemicals, with the city being responsible for any expenses beyond those benchmarks.
The vote came after a motion to table action for 30 days made by Ward 3 city councilman Mark Fitzpatrick and seconded by Ward 1 councilman Archie Chaney failed 4-2.
“I’m still not comfortable with it,” Fitzpatrick remarked in making the motion. Following that vote, mayor pro tem Keith Burchett made the motion to accept the contract, with Ward 4 councilman Steve Perry providing the second. Also voting for the motion were Ward 2 councilman Darren Owensby and Ward 5 councilman Johnny Eubanks, while Fitzpatrick and Chaney voted against the motion.
The only discussion about the contract was a remark by city manager Pete Pyrzenski, who pointed out that the city is “not turning over the operations of the water department” and that all revenues from water sales will continue to come to the city.
Under the terms of the agreement, ESG is obligated to offer employment to all full-time water plant staff — providing they pass a drug test. The company will also conduct training, implement a safety program, maintain all equipment for warranty purposes, implement a maintenance program, perform all laboratory work, maintain the water plant grounds and oversee the maintenance of and repairs to the city’s four elevated water tanks. It will handle administrative duties, including dealing with customer complaints, meeting with regulatory agencies, provide the city with a list of recommended capital improvements, complete an annual assessment of equipment and prepare for the city a risk management program.
For the full story of the city council meeting see the Dec. 18 issue of The Commerce News.