Feb. 19 City Council Brief: Fuse Sacrifice System Update, Changes to Public Works Building Plan

Published on Feb 19, 2019 at 04:24p.m.

Feb. 21, 2018, Green Cove Springs, FL – Steve Howard of Hooper Corporation updated the City Council on the progress of the Fuse Sacrifice System. This system transition covered Circuit 2 of the City’s South Substation, which includes Melrose Avenue, areas east of CSX Railroad and Orange Avenue and South of SR 16. He reported that since the switch was made on January 2, 2019, there have been only two outages in the area.

With the Fuse Sacrifice System in place vegetation and wildlife have been identified as the cause of past power “blips” and outages. Howard said that Hooper Corporation is reducing those causes by trimming fast growing and high density areas of trees, and installing grounding equipment around electric poles to make electric lines safe for wildlife to cross.

Howard also gave an update on that status of projects under the $10.7 million electric loan for electric system improvements. They have now completely replaced 78 electric poles, completed improvements to electric poles and power lines on CR 209, completed improvements around the railroad crossing on Oak Street, and conversion of our 4kV system. They are currently in the middle of replacing fuse connectors throughout the electric grid and working on improvements along Roberts Street.

Another point of discussion during Tuesday night’s meeting were proposed changes to new public works building design. Assistant City Manager Mike Null said that after looking at half of the design plan with Bhide and Hall Architects and Auld & White Constructors, costs for the building already exceed the budgeted $1.3 million for the project. Null proposed the following changes to the design plan, including: removing restroom wall tile, reducing quantity of windows, installing fire sprinklers instead of firewalls in the building, remove interior insulation, and removing the planned bike rack. As a way to cut down costs even further, Null suggested that the site and utility work can be done by city public works employees.

Null said that part of the increase was due to design elements that the city had to add to meet state building codes. These costs weren’t factored into the estimated cost of the building. Null also said that making these changes now will prevent more significant changes to the plan when the designs are complete.

The council unanimously approved of these changes, with City Council Member Van Royal voicing concerns about using city staff for the site work.

City Manager Steve Kennedy announced he will be presenting a contract for renewal of red light cameras at the next City Council Meeting, with the contract to also include the capability to utilize license plate readers. He also announced that City staff are working on plans for an upcoming City clean up day.

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