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October 17th, 2019

darla harper city commission recapDarla Harper gives an update on some construction projects going on throughout the Liberal community during the Liberal City Commission meeting Tuesday evening. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part two of the story recapping Tuesday evening’s Liberal City Commission meeting and will focus on some upcoming projects. 

Along with the budget, construction and new projects were also a hot topic for the Liberal City Commission during its most recent meeting Tuesday night. 

Up first with this was the discussion of a Sensus upgrade for the Water Department. 

“This is basically a software upgrade that’s going to be spread out over the next five years so we can afford it properly,” City Manager Cal Burke said. “This software does have a lot more capabilities than what our prior software had and basically, the old software is going to die away on us.”

Sensus representative Kyle Unruh then spoke to the commission. 

“Software technology needs upgraded all the time and your current software is reaching its end-of-life,” Unruh said. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to crash and burn, it really means it’s just going to get harder for them to fix. The solution Sensus is offering is to get the server out of your possession and host it so it’s up in the cloud, which puts all the security and upgrades on their shoulders with that annual fee. It also brings you to the most current software, which is called Analytics, which operates some of the new meters, which are, as you can tell, very technology-based. There are no moving parts with these, the example you’re passing around right now has a 20-year 100 percent accuracy and if it fails at say, year 10, it’s a full replacement with a brand new warranty and everything else with it. The accuracy of these is incredible, what it will measure is 0.02 gallons at 100 percent – you could not put that at the bottom of the glass and pour it out over a minute’s time physically. What you currently have is a warrior of the meter industry, it’s a great meter and it’s been around forever, but it’s mechanical inside, so the parts wear out just like any engine and over time, it loses accuracy, which trickles down to other things.”

Unruh and Burke continued explaining some of the differences between the two meters shown during the meeting. 

“Another cool thing about this is it can be used remotely with your system with this upgrade and can be remotely shut off from City Hall,” Unruh said. “It can also be reduced so someone can get just a cup of water refilled, but you couldn’t water grass or things like that which take up a lot more water. It’s kind of a tactic saying ‘Please come pay your bill before we shut you off completely.’ Another thing about this, which a lot of people are wanting, is it has pressure sensors and temperature monitors, and there are also some different softwares you can put that will somewhat accurately pinpoint where any issues are arising so it’s easier to go in and fix. You can also look at trends throughout the city and things like that, those are built in. And if there’s a main break or something, there will be an alarm that will be received by the department so they can get the ball rolling on any repairs that need done.”

After some other questions from staff, the presentation was concluded. After that presentation, City of Liberal Certified Permit Technician Darla Harper gave the commission an update on some of the projects going on throughout the community.

“With the treatment plants, that’s mostly dirt work being done right now and at the moment, we have just a bunch of big holes out at those sites and we’ll soon be getting a chain link fence up around them,” Harper said. “With the Holiday Inn Express, they’re looking to get a temporary certificate of occupancy – there’s a few things they need to do before officially qualifying for that, but even from the photos in your packet here, which are from July 31, they’ve gotten quite a lot done with that – I know most of the ceiling is in on the first floor and several of the rooms are furnished but need things for the bathrooms, but the rooms on the top floor are all furnished and the bathrooms are complete. I’m guessing by our next update they’ll be open, and that depends on if circumstances remain good and everything goes smoothly. With the Colvin Center, there have been a lot of updates even since these were taken. They’re not quite ready for the final, but they are getting there and they’ve got quite a bit done, so I would predict by my next update it’ll be fully ready to be utilized. I would say about the same thing for the spots complex out there, they’re moving really quickly out there and it’ll be awesome when it’s finished. There at Southern Pioneer, they’ve made a lot of progress out there – the floors are poured and walls are up in the front office area and the customer service area is larger. There’s also a safety area in there now for if there’s severe weather or some other type of emergency, and I know there are plans for the back area to also have a conference room. The last project is the Xpress Wellness building, they actually got their final stuff today, so they should be open very quickly. Everything’s basically complete. They’re currently waiting for their certificate of occupancy, which they’ll receive upon passing their final inspection and I know they’ve also taken care of the landscaping and everything on that end.”

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