County to seek funding options for rusted pipe

OSCEOLA COUNTY — A rusted outlet drain pipe recently discovered in Rose Lake Park will go unfixed until a funding source for the estimated $50,000 replacement can be located.

The pipe is located on property given to the county by the Department of Natural Resources and is used to establish the level of Rose Lake. The pipe has been on the property for at least 25 years.

On Oct. 9, Osceola County drain commissioner Jerry Powell made a close inspection of the 42-inch CMP outlet drain pipe at Rose Lake Park. Powell found the metal in the bottom of the pipe had rusted and deteriorated to the point that with one strike, a hammer penetrated through the metal and into the dirt.

At the Osceola County board of commissioners meeting on Oct. 16, Powell reported the pipe is in the late stages of failure that will result in collapse if not soon replaced. He recommended replacing the metal pipe with a concrete pipe, which will last longer than metal.

“We weren’t aware of the problem until this past spring, and I wasn’t able to inspect it until this fall. It came as a big surprise,” Powell said. “We could roll the dice that it will last until the spring, but if we have a failure, we have a lake backup and an increased cost to fix it.”

If the rusted part of the drain collapsed, it could plug water flow completely and the lake would be unable to drain in times of high water level.

With lack of clarity as to whether replacement of the drain would fall under the jurisdiction of the County or of Rose Lake officials, board chairman Dave Brooks said he would like other entities to be aware of the issue before the county agreed to fund the project in full.

“If we end up having to replace this, let’s make sure we’ve looked at all of our funding avenues,” Brooks said.

The board directed Powell to inform other entities of the issue and return with an update, when they will proceed with further decisions on project funding.

Comissioners also approved a roughly $2,100 project to upgrade bulbs in current fixtures at the county courthouse.

The florescent light bulbs will be changed from the current T-12 bulbs to T-8 bulbs. Fixtures with three or four bulbs will be replaced with only two and the change will result in a .08 cents per kilowatt savings..

“T-12 bulbs are becoming obsolete,” said Osceola County maintenance department manager Brad Halladay. “If we don’t do it and all of the sudden in two years we’re in a position where we have to do it, we’re going to have to pay a lot more.”

All lights in the county building will be changed, and the courtroom will have high-performance lights because of the ceilings being more than 8 feet high.

In other business, the board of commissioners:

  • approved the Emergency Medical Services to purchase a generator from Atkins Electric for $6,700;
  • held a budget hearing on the 2013 proposed budget;
  • granted a request for the register of deeds to have office books rebound;
  • approved the Emergency Management Department’s fourth quarter work agreement.

The board plans to approve its 2013 budget at the next meeting, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 6 in the board of commissioners room at the Osceola County Courthouse.