Frankford council looks to improve town services

The Frankford Town Council took the initial steps towards having better-quality water this summer and to lower electric costs for small business at a June 8 meeting.

The council is looking into purchasing a hydrant diffuser to blow off water pipes, as opposed to paying Tidewater Utilities for the service.

Frankford’s water pipes are only 18 inches deep, which in the summer time can cause warmer cold water than is desired. The pipes also collect sedimentary deposits. The diffuser would clear them out, and with the diffuser the town would finally have the ability to do this weekly or bi-weekly, at their leisure.

“By buying our own diffuser, we’ll be more self-sufficient,” town office administrator Terry Truitt said. “It’s part of running a business and, after a few uses, it will pay for itself.”

Frankford’s maintenance man, Jim Reardon, doubles as a member of the Millville Fire Company and is more than qualified to run the device.

“It’s not that easy of a job, but I can do it if Clarence (Quillen of Tidewater Utilities) can show me the procedure,” Reardon confirmed.

Diffuser bids, by the June 8 meeting, ranged from $300 to $750 and the town decided on the cheaper, more functional version of the two.

“Right now, we’re looking for the ‘Ford Escort’ version,” Truitt said. “The prices came in a bit higher, so they’ll (diffuser representatives) come before the council next month to show us where the price difference is and, eventually, we’ll be looking to purchase one of these. In the end, we’ll have better water quality.”

The council is also looking into joining the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce to take advantage of the Chamber’s burgeoning proto electric cooperative.

Frankford businesses that tally an electric bill of $3,000 or more each year are qualified for the co-op.

CQI associates out of Columbia, Md., serves as the aggregator for the towns and finds the lowest electric rates.

If Frankford were to join the Fenwick-Bethany Chamber of Commerce, CQI associates would bid out rates in July, with the rates effective late in the month. If market prices are too high, then CQI would wait until the winter.

“The idea is to get a better rate, not just any rate,” said Karen McGrath, executive director of the Chamber.

Principle CQI associate Richard Anderson noted that businesses could see drastic changes in their bill.

“A small business can see anywhere from 8 to 12 percent savings off their current bill, 12 to 16 percent for a medium-sized business, and (some) in excess of 25 percent,” he said.

CQI, currently serves as aggregator for 19 other chambers of commerce in the region.

Frankford’s municipal street light bill for last month was $900 dollars, all of which comes out of taxpayers’ pockets.

“Electric prices aren’t going down, so this is something that might be worth looking into,” council President Robert Daisey said. “My (business) partner and I have already looked into this and it looks good for all businesses.”