Plumbing code amended by Otsego City Council

by Eric Oslund
The Otsego City Council amended city code July 11 regarding plumbing code backflow device monitoring requirements.
According to city utility manager Kurt Neidermeier, the earlier code required only reduced-pressure assemblies to be inspected, while the new one regulates inspection requirements for double-check assemblies and pressure vacuum breakers, including residential irrigation installations.
A certified tester is required for an annual inspection and requires inspection reports be provided to public water suppliers within 30 days of the inspection to improve communication with municipalities.
The code change also requires municipalities to provide notification to owners of the devices needed for an initial and annual device test. It is accepted to notify the plumber at the time of the plumbing permit application with the condition that the plumber informs the device owner of requirements.

City Council OKs pay request
The city council approved the pay request of $76,931.00 for the rehabilitation project done on Water Tower No. 1. Osseo Construction Co. LLC began work on Water Tower No. 1 in early April.

Entering into new phone agreement
The council authorized City Administrator and Finance Director Adam Flaherty to enter into an agreement with Nova Communications Inc.
According to Flaherty, the city’s current phone system is nearing the end of its useful life. The voicemail component is considered obsolete, is no longer serviced by the maintenance provider, and is not available for replacement should something go wrong. The handsets of the phone system are no longer available from Toshiba, and the city would have to rely upon finding replacements in the secondhand marketplace if they fail.
The new system being provided by Nova Communications is a “hosted” phone system, meaning that other than the phone headsets, all technology and equipment is hosted by the provider. It is expected the city will purchase approximately 10 headsets, with a range in cost of $185 to $349 per phone.
The council approved staff to explore replacement options and budgeted $25,000 for a replacement in 2017 within the capital improvement plan. The new agreement appears to be under that amount.

Otsego finds new receptionist
The council approved the hiring of Kelly Thelen for the vacant receptionist and office assistant position.
The position has been vacant since May 26 due to resignation from the previous employee. On June 12, the council approved a revised job description for this position and authorized this position for up to 30 hours per week.
Thelen is expected to start around July 24.