Dale Wampler took a lesson from his personal life and used it to save the village of Sunbury big bucks.
Wampler, the village’s wastewater plant supervisor, pre-purchases liquid propane in bulk for heating his home. He investigated purchasing a winter’s supply of propane for the treatment plant at summer rates, to be delivered on an as-needed basis, and saved the village $4,680.
During the Sept. 2 village services committee meeting, Wampler said the wastewater treatment plant typically uses 4,820 gallons of propane from December through March.
“The average cost of propane over the last three years from December through March was $2.78 a gallon,” Wampler told committee members. “This year’s cost in March was $2.46 a gallon. We could get a contract for 4,000 gallons of propane for $1.29 a gallon that’s delivered on call.”
Wampler, who got the quote from BrightStar Propane & Fuels in Westerville, said last winter the village paid more than $9,000 for propane, and that the village paid more than $4 a gallon around the time of last year’s propane shortage.
During Village Council’s meeting later that day, council members approved spending $5,160 for 4,000 gallons of propane for winter use at the wastewater treatment plant.
Wampler also asked committee members to recommend that council approve spending up to $5,000 to repair the roof-mounted furnace at the wastewater plant’s main building — $4,500 to replace the heat exchanger and repair wiring, another $500 contingency to replace any non-functional controls.
“A new furnace would’ve cost $21,601, that’s the lowest estimate I could get,” Wampler said. “The furnace has to be roof-mounted. It’s a classified building because open sewer runs through there.”
Committee members recommended council approve the furnace repairs, and council members approved the expenditure.
Wampler said the plant’s mower is 10 years old, the oldest mower the village owns, and he recently had to spend $400 to have the mower repaired.
Wampler asked if one of the street department’s older mowers could be given to the treatment plant instead of traded in during the next trade-in cycle, or if the treatment plant could get a new mower.
While the village provides safety shoes, safety vests and T-shirts for village employees, Wampler and streets and maintenance department supervisor Brad Gerwig both initiated a discussion about developing a village employee uniform policy.
“We understand that nobody wants uniforms; they’re cold in the winter and hot in summer,” Wampler said. “What it boils down to is, let’s look somewhat professional, and always use safety equipment when it’s appropriate.”
Later that evening, council members discussed the village uniform policy, and discussed if the existing policies need to be enforced or amended.
Council member Jennifer Ward said a uniform policy, if adhered to, would improve village residents’ confidence in village employees.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093