Quincy officials approve purchase of generator

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By Alice Du Pont

Quincy city commissioners approved last week the purchase of a generator unit to provide a backup power supply for high service pumps at the water treatment plant.

Neil Wade, utilities director, said if the power went down at the water plant during a disaster, there is only enough water to last the city one day. He said the city currently does not have any backup power for the water system.

Jack McLean, city manager, told commissioners that the city's water supply system is the high service pumps that pump water from the three (above) ground storage reservoirs into the distribution system. The distribution system then carries potable water to the commercial or residential user.

During normal operations the system has stored capacity to provide the city's service area with approximately a one-day supply of water based on the current average daily consumption rate. However, in the event of an extended power outage, such as during a storm, equipment failure or other forces, the water supply could become inadequate to meet the demand, especially if the system is called on for firefighting needs.

"We've been lucky," Wade said.

Commissioners voted to purchase a used generator at a cost of no more than $55,000.

Commissioners also approved a flexibility policy presented by customer service director Ann Sherman that would allow her to set up payment plans for people who fall outside the approved utility payment policy.

She said that because of recent layoffs at local companies, people who have never been late are now having trouble making payments on time. She asked for and was given permission to set up payment plans to help struggling families until the economy improves.