Freeport City Council hears proposal on sewer lift station system 

By RUBY KEARCE 

Note: Due to press deadline on Feb. 13, this is Part One of the story on business conducted at the Feb. 13 meeting of the Freeport City Council.  Part Two of the story will be published in the Feb. 21, 2024 edition of the Herald – Breeze. 

The Freeport City Council met for its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Under staff reports, Sewer was the first to approach with a wastewater treatment plant update saying there was supposed to be a DEP letter of substantial completion sent out, but it is delayed due to an electronic issue with a small piece of equipment. The issue is expected to be resolved quickly. A request was also made for funds to purchase a pump truck since money was set aside in this fiscal year’s budget. A motion was passed to award $520,113 to purchase a truck from Orlando FreightLiner. 

Sewer staff continued to request all lift stations be on one system, allowing for hourly and daily reports. Jason Bell with N Lite N approached the board to discuss what their system offers, with Council member Elizabeth Brannon asking what it would take to add a new lift station to this system. Bell responded by saying the package has been broken up into four possibilities. 

Bell explained that it works the same as logging into a bank account with military grade security. It has check-in buttons to allow for data-logging every interaction, as well as adding notes that can not be deleted, thus keeping a complete history of what has been done at every lift station, and it helps with pumps by monitoring the power and flow and giving real time data, as well as sending out alerts when it goes below a certain point. Bell also explained that around 40 municipalities in the state use their system. This also allows to identify how much flow is going through each station which can be useful in heavy rain storms. 

Bell also said that their system is non-proprietary meaning that there is no tie with their company if they choose to move on. Bell stated that there are three parts equipment in the field, communications, and HDMI. Equipment can be bought off of the shelf and communications can be replaced with separate sim cards. This does not tie the city down to this company if they choose to proceed. Bell also is offering free on site recording cameras at each lift station.  

Council member Elizabeth Haffner asked if the $275,825 price was a one-time, monthly, or annual fee. Bell explained that they are discounting $1,500 off of each unit and the pricing is locked in with the installation is being discounted, and the cost of each unit is $5,500 of which they are discounting $2,000 making it $3,500. Bell explained that it is a one time upfront cost, however there is a $40 a month fee for AT and T and Verizon as well as $40 a month per site for HDMI. 

A motion was made to use $275,825 in capacity fees to cover the cost of accepting N Lite N’s proposal.