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The major discussion of the Weston City Council meeting last week was an update on the well house portion of the water tank project. Steven Wood, of Sunrise Engineering, reported on the results of the bidding process. Four companies submitted bids with the winning bid coming from DWA Construction. The incredibly low bids, however, raised red flags for the council.

Wood said he questioned the companies and was told that due to the pandemic shutting everything down they were grateful for the business so they could keep their employees on the payroll and not have to furlough them. Oddly enough the pandemic and rash of hurricanes in the gulf have flipped the pricing of the project on its head; labor being in such low demand right now is cheap; the pipe to actually do the project is proving costly.

The bids on the project consisted of two versions of a base bid, — one using six-inch pipe, and then alternate using an eight-inch pipe. Wood suggested the city go with the alternate bid as the increased water capacity would enable better usage of the water, including fire suppression.

When all the funding has been accounted for the city will have over $450,000 left in their coffers, with the bill for the project coming in so low a few bells and whistles can be thrown in. At present, the chlorination levels in the water have to be checked and altered manually. An update to the city’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system will monitor and adjust those levels automatically for $10,000.

Another addition in the works is aimed at preventing loss of water to certain areas of the city. At present large areas of the east side of Weston are tied into the water system via a single point located in front of Woodward’s store. Although the system is working fine, should it somehow freeze or break those homes would be without water for days, maybe weeks. So a second connection point between the two branches of Weston’s water system will ensure such a loss of service doesn’t happen.

There is also room in the budget to replace approximately five aging fire hydrants, though data suggests that the number of hydrants that could stand to be swapped out is two to three times that number.

On a darker note a representative from CAPSA, a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center, thanked the city for anything and everything they have done to help curb the scourge that is domestic violence in Bear Lake, Cache and Franklin counties. CAPSA exists to give abused women and children the means they need to escape from abusive relationships, be that legal, employment or relocation to a safe environment. The council expressed a desire to host a link to the CAPSA website on their own site to help further the organization’s mission.

The final item of the evening was also the only major source of debate: the Santa Clause Coronavirus Conundrum. With the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight and the possibility of the state regressing back down the opening stages, the council had to decide what to do about Jolly Old St. Nicholas. The council has not ordered the peanuts and oranges for the children’s goodie bags which it usually provides its residents. Concerned over health risks, and the possibility of being reported, several options were discussed and are currently being considered. These options include, a Santa drive by, at which Santa could wave to the children from a horse pulled wagon; a goodie bag drop off, where Santa would drop off a number of goodie bags at the door and ring the bell before leaving. These and other options are being thought through but the council did wish to emphasize that 2020 has been a year full of workarounds.

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