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Tolliver: power outage may have affected Milltown’s sewer plant

Tolliver: power outage may have affected Milltown’s sewer plant Tolliver: power outage may have affected Milltown’s sewer plant
By Chris Adams, Contributing Writer

A recent power outage — and its lingering effects — was a key topic at the Milltown Town Council’s monthly meeting on Oct. 10.

Steve Tolliver of Aqua Utility Services, the town’s wastewater treatment plant operator, said AUS received a call from the alarm system after a motorist struck a couple of telephone poles on Oct. 1.
Tolliver explained that the infrastructure of a substation that the town gets electricity from through Duke Energy was destroyed in the process. While single-phase power to residences was re-established quicker, it took Duke Energy 16 hours to re-establish the needed three-phase power to the wastewater treatment plant.

“Even with the generator running, it was causing problems,” he said.

Tolliver said problems are continuing at the plant and throughout town, including voltage swings, at times causing surges. He said the plant is needing to be reset every few hours, but, fortunately, operators have remote access.

“I’m worried about your equipment with this going on,” he said. “I’m worried about your homes’ equipment. You’ve got computers, refrigerators … when you have those kinds of interruptions, it damages it. The surges coming in damage it.”

Tolliver would like a licensed electrician to check over the sewer plant’s system for possible damage. He said that he expects the cost to be less than $400, but Duke Energy has instructed him to file a claim for any associated costs. So far, Tolliver said, AUS has accumulated about $3,000 in overtime and other expenses.

“In my opinion, no matter what it costs, it needs to be looked at,” Councilman Justin Barnes said. “We need to know now if something’s failed or is going to fail.”

Tolliver also suggested having the generator checked out. While he believes it is OK, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if it too was damaged.

“I think you should check everything that you feels needs to be checked,” Councilwoman Jean Melton said.

Residents whose homes may have experienced electrical damage should consider filing a claim through their homeowner’s insurance.

In another matter, the council received some potentially good news from Bill Byrd of the town’s economic development committee.

“We’ve got a tentative approval … to put us in a Mexican restaurant here in Milltown,” he said.
Byrd said the owner of the El Compadre restaurants, which has locations in Bedford, Mitchell, Orleans, Paoli and West Baden Springs, was in town recently.

“He thinks 40,000 (customers) in the summer and the locals in the winter will make it profitable,” he said.

Melton noted that El Compadre has a good reputation throughout the area.

Byrd said while it isn’t official, he feels good about the chances of an El Compadre restaurant opening in Milltown.

The town council’s next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. at the town hall.