Havelock commissioners agreed to spend up to $1.45 million for a system designed to make the city’s water production plant more efficient.
The supervisory control and data acquisition system, called SCADA, is designed to automatically monitor plant operations, allowing for adjustments that could save money as well as alerting workers to possible problems.
Commissioners voted to award a contract to the Turner Murphy Company, of Rock Hill, S.C.
Installation of the system has been in planning for about three years and the expenditure on the system had been expected, though it was anticipated that the cost would be less.
Bill Ebron, public services director, said the low bid offered on Oct. 2 by Turner Murphy was higher than the planned construction budget by about $100,000.
Ebron told commissioners that removal of a $93,400 chlorine contact piping/ammonia injection vault would have the least impact on the plant and could be done to make up for exceeding the budget.
However, Commissioner Jim Stuart said he would rather see the board spend the extra money and get the job done right the first time, and the rest of the board agreed.
Funding for the project is coming from the city’s water fund.
Consultant Greg Churchill, with Rivers and Associates, said the work would serve the city for the next 20 years or more.
In other business on Monday night, the board:
-- unanimously voted to approve the employment contract of the city’s new city manager, Frank Bottorff. His annual salary will be $111,808, and he is scheduled to start work on Nov. 12, working with current manager Jim Freeman during a transitional period until Freeman’s planned retirement.
-- unanimously voted to put $1,458 in the operating budget of the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation. The money was raised at a Sept. 17 fundraiser.
-- unanimously voted for the city to apply for a N.C. Brownfields Agreement in which the old Phoenix Recycling property would be acquired while exempting it from liability from any contamination found on the site. The abandoned site is on Craven County property behind the Wells Wayside furniture store near the Tucker Creek subdivision. It operated during the 1990s but the company went bankrupt and abandoned the location.
-- unanimously agreed to allow Phase 1 environmental testing on the Trader Store property to be paid for from the EPA Brownfields grant obtained by the city in 2012.
-- unanimously agreed to spend $7,800 from the reserve fund to pay for an economic development marketing software tool that would support more data sharing with New Bern and Craven County.
-- unanimously approved proclamations for city residents Dan Pratt and Jeremiah Johnson for their efforts to remove the driver of a truck that was on fire after a four-car collision on on Sept. 27 on Fontana Boulevard.
The meeting was recessed until Friday when the board will have a two-hour meeting with Cherry Point Commanding Officer Col. Chris Pappas at the West End Fire Station.