The Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission approved a measure in its regular meeting Thursday that could change how fire hydrants are painted in Clark County.
Utility commissioners approved a change order to a bid approved two weeks ago to have 160 of the county’s 2,200 hydrants painted by an outside contractor. In years past, WMU has handled the painting in-house.
“We were painting them ourselves,” WMU general manager Mike Flynn said. “We have never had anyone in here to paint these hydrants.
“This is something that we’re looking at and testing. We were going to look at doing it this way to see if there would be a cost-saving measure doing it this way.”
The bid’s amount changed when WMU looked into using a different paint than the standard enamel paint.
“We asked if there was something different out there and (the contractor) brought it up in the pre-construction meeting,” Flynn said. “He said he would give us a cost differential for the paint. ... The difference in cost is for materials only.”
The Commission originally awarded the bid to McKinny Painting Inc. for $15,520. The change in paint has increased the amount by $1,120 bringing the new total to $16,640. Even with the change, the bid is siginificantly lower than the next lowest bid of $19,920, which would have included the standard enamel paint.
“It’s a high quality, more expensive paint product,” WMU staff engineer Eddie Hightower said. “Better than the standard enamel paint we had specified. When we took a look at it, we thought it would be a good value since we got a really good bid.”
The paint has a warrantly of five years, which could give it a longer life than the paint being used now.
“We’re trying it out the first time to let someone else paint these hydrants and see if it can be a more efficient way of doing this,” Commission Chairman Mike Anderson said. “If this paint works, it may be well worth $1,200 if you paint them only every five years instead of every two or three years.”
Flynn said the hydrants were painted about three years ago and those outside of downtown already require painting.
Winchester City Commissioner Shannon Cox had reservations about how soon the change order came on the bid, but the Comission approved the change.
At the meeting, the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association presented industral pretreatment awards to Catalent Pharma Solutions and Osram Sylvania.
The Commission also approved pay requests for South Main Street sanitary sewer line improvements and Cherry Street storage tank rehabilitation.