Electrical outage impacts Frankford’s water plant

The Town of Frankford averted disaster last weekend when an underground cable burned and the backup generator at the town’s water plant was affected, as well. Council President Jesse Truitt said that, thanks to Delmarva Power and Tidewater Utilities, they got the system back up and running in time for the week to start.

“DP&L stayed over almost the whole time — they went above and beyond,” said Truitt, adding that, even though the cable was on town property, the company stayed to make sure they had electricity for the plant. He thanked Delmarva Power, Tidewater and Mid-Atlantic Electrical Services, the private contractor, for their help in getting it back up and running.

Also at the Aug. 8 town council meeting, the council officially welcomed Ron Atherton, who returned to council after Crystal Holland’s resignation as a council member earlier this summer. Atherton will complete her term as vice president of council and will act as the council’s parks and grants liaison.

Town Clerk Terry Truitt reported on Monday that the town had issued three building permits in July: one for a pool with fencing, one for a pole building and one for a new house. She also said recycling containers were expected to be delivered to residents on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

The council approved paying Shureline Construction for a change order for furnishing and installing chlorine tubing and conduit, filters and piping improvements, in the total amount of $15,696.60. They also approved a 16th disbursement, in the amount of $26,396.61, from the town’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Grant for that change order and payment to Cabe Associates, in the amount of $10,700.01, for engineering fees.

Police Chief Bill Dudley reported that there were 21 traffic violations cited in July, as well as one criminal arrest and 34 total complaints. Dudley also reported an apparent accidental fire through which one resident was displaced this week. He said they were receiving assistance from the Red Cross for short-term needs. Dudley asked that anyone who knew of more long-term assistance or resources for the fire victim contact the department.

Also on Aug. 8, Dudley asked for a Spanish-speaking liaison because of several recent tool thefts. He said he believes the tools were subsequently sold to Hispanic immigrants who unknowingly purchase the stolen goods at discounted rates.

“Word is on the street that they are being sold to Hispanic construction workers,” he said. “I think it is a cultural issue — I am not looking to get anyone in trouble, but I want to explain to them that these thefts are going on… I want to dry up that avenue for thieves that are taking advantage of people.”

In the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Jerry Smith asked if members of council and town staff who had taken wastewater classes were getting reimbursed and if water plant repairs couldn’t be done in-house, as opposed to using Tidewater Utilities.

The council confirmed that it had decided this past winter to reimburse Frankford maintenance employee Joe Dukes for the cost of and his time receiving his wastewater operator’s license. Jesse Truitt also took the class.

“I had to pay for it myself,” Jesse Truitt said, after Smith addressed him directly. Truitt also said that the council had not implied that work would be done in-house.

“Frankford didn’t pay for a thing for mine,” he continued. He said that he got his license as a “backup.” Smith said that had not been made clear at the March meeting.

“I don’t have to make clear to you what I do on my own time,” retorted Jesse Truitt. “Anybody else got anything to say?” he asked before asking for a motion to adjourn the council meeting.