During Tuesday’s regular Duncan City Council meeting, councilor heard a bit of good news from Duncan Power director David Yeager.

For months, Duncan Power has had a transformer that, in September, was deemed surplus, and should be sold or dismantled and sold for parts. Yeager said when no adequate offers were received, the department made the decision to dismantle the transformer and sell it for parts.

“It wasn’t a high priority item. We had plenty of other more important things to do. So we didn’t really do much with it for a while,” Yeager said.

The waiting Yeager and Duncan Power did resulted in a better outcome for selling the transformer than originally thought. Originally, Yeager said they could sell it as is for around $25,000, or part it out for around $6,000.

In February, Yeager received notification that T&R Electric of Colman, S.D., was interested in purchasing the transformer.

“We were just about to purchase a specialized torch to cut into it when I got the e-mail,” Yeager said.

The company didn’t purchase the transformer for the proposed $25,000, rather they bought it at $22,500 partially dismantled.

“After shipping and equipment needed, we’re going to net about $19,000 from the transformer,” Yeager said. “That’s much better than we thought we were going to get, so it just shows it pays to be patient sometimes.”

City manager Jim Frieda said he was glad to have something positive to present to the council.

“I don’t often get to bring positive things to the council; so this was a really good thing for us,” Frieda said.

The net gain from selling the transformer will go into a surplus fund for Duncan Power.

Duncan also awarded bids for the Water line improvements 2011 project in Tuesday’s meeting.

Public Utilities director Scott Vaughn said this project will involve designing and building replacements of undersized water lines with a six inch DIP water main in the following areas:

n F Street from Ash to Chestnut and on Ash from D Street to F Street.

n Spruce from 19th Street to 20th Street

n 12th Street from Jones to Elk

n Plato Road from Country Club to Northridge

The project proposed on Plato Road will also eliminate dead end water lines and will include a bored/cased road crossing.

The bids were opened on March 1. During Tuesday’s meeting, a bid of $382,259.20 was accepted from Miller Construction & Sons Inc.

The project was budgeted for up to $450,000.

“We’ll be saving approximately 10 percent on this project,” Vaughn said.

Vice-mayor Michael Hale had some reservations approving all four aspects of the project, and asked Vaughn if the council could approve only a portion of the projects or possibly put in an escape clause, should the city come up short on funds for the project. Hale’s main concern was if Duncan would still have the money when it came time to pay for the project because of the current state of the economy and price of gas and fuel.

Frieda made a point though, that not only did the bid for the project come in well under the proposed budget, but the original budget number was conservative and allowed for a buffer.

“I think it’s prudent that this question was asked, but that $100,000 or more saved will make it possible,” Frieda said.

Vaughn also stated the importance of the project by saying several of the proposed areas are regular culprits for repairs or prone for complaints of dirty water.

“On the flip side of what I said, I think this would save thousands of dollars by replacing these lines,” Hale said. “I know several of these areas that are repaired regularly, and this would help save thousands by not needing to repair them anymore.”

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