Mayor Pro Tempore and head of the Henderson-Nina water district Ray Robin informed the Board of the expiration on Feb. 29 of the warranty on the Crane sewerage system.
Robin, along with Mayor Sherbin Collette and City Attorney Jerry Mallet, met with Crane representatives, including one of the vice presidents, on March 19 to try and resolve the issue.
Henderson recently filed a lawsuit against Crane, although it had not yet been served.
Crane offered an additional two-year warranty. Robin requested that they cover the cost of changing out the remaining pumps which haven’t yet been changed. The company refused, although they said they would change out as many pumps as necessary over the next two years.
Despite an intensive investigation by the town’s administration prior to the purchase of the Crane system, there have been numerous and ongoing problems with the system since its initial installation five years ago. According to Robin, 258 pumps or 43 percent have been replaced, leaving 350 pumps which have not yet been changed.
Robin says that although approximately 300 switches have been replaced in the system, the numbers of problem switches decreases each year while the number of pumps with problems increases.
The newer pumps come with a two-year warranty.
Robin stated they are also looking into the cost of rebuilding the pump, once the warranty runs out. Crane representatives informed them that it would cost around $2,000 to purchase a new pump and about $813 to rebuild it. Robin thought they could do it for less. Crane also advised they could send someone to train Henderson folks how to rebuild them.
Councilman Jody Meche and Councilwoman Samantha LeBlanc were concerned that although Crane is replacing the pumps, the town is having to pay the labor costs for replacing them. Robin agreed, saying that he doesn’t like the proposal and thinks Crane should replace all of the pumps. He was also concerned about the length of the legal process and having to replace numerous pumps once the warranty runs out.
Subsequent to an executive session, the board decided to accept the Crane proposal, with the understanding that all of the pumps and switches that are pulled will remain the property of the town of Henderson, except in cases where Crane needs to inspect the equipment.
The extended warranty would expire at the end of February 2014.
Mallet announced that Glenn Soileau, attorney for the plaintiffs in the annexation suit, filed a motion for summary judgement, and that attorney Michael Hebert, who represents the Town of Henderson in the suit, has filed an answer. A hearing on the motion, along with the exceptions previously filed on behalf of Henderson, is scheduled for early May.
The council accepted Mayor Collette’s recommendation that Mallet be appointed as town prosecutor.
In the financial report, the general fund balance was reported at $855,411.72 and the sales tax fund at $133,585.75. The balance in the park fund was reported at $2,43.86, the enterprise fund at $44,206.69 and the Book Fairy fund at $6,983.17.
The council adopted the millage rate of 1.79 for the 2012 tax roll year. They also adopted a proclamation proclaiming April as Fair Housing Month, calling for “...all Americans to rededicate themselves to the principle of freedom from housing discrimination whenever it exists...”
Elliott Construction LLC was accepted as the low bidder to complete the work of blacktopping several streets, from monies provided by the Community Development Block Grant the town received in 2011.