A Utilities Master Plan was developed in 2005. Since that time, 70% of the projects identified have been completed.
A water main break on Taylor Road on Sunday, Dec. 2, forced the city to close the road and redirect traffic, as well as make sure residents in the area had access to water.
Jake Johansson, city manager, told the City Council on Dec. 4 that a 12-inch water main pipe broke on Taylor Road. Water utilities personnel noticed a drop in pressure on their monitoring systems and sent a crew out to find the leak. Excessive water was found along the B19 Canal on Taylor Road, which had washed out the ground underneath. The city secured water for the residents in the area; Taylor Road was closed, and traffic was re-routed to Clyde Morris.
Because Taylor is a county road, the city and county engineers are working together to fix the problem. It will take two to three weeks to replace the pipes and complete needed repairs. The city is taking engineering bids and completing emergency purchases.
Johansson stated that all residents had access to their home and water and that Police Chief Tom Grimaldi had traffic moving smoothly.
Councilman Scott Stiltner remarked that one citizen's comment about the traffic was that it was easier since there is only one way to go.
"One of the questions I get from the mayor and a few folks, citizens, is, 'This seems to be happening more and more lately, and, do we have a problem?'" Johansson said. The water main breaks have occurred with PVC pipes that were installed in the 1970s, he said. With colder temperatures that cause the earth to shift, pipes can break.
After hearing of the break, Johansson spoke with City Utilities Director Lynn Stevens, who showed him a map of all the 12-inch PVC water main pipes in the city. There are a few of those pipes which cause concern. As soon as the Taylor Road project is complete, the Utilities Department will look into identifying pipes of concern and replace them.
Johansson shared that a Utilities Master Plan was developed in 2005. Since that time, 70% of the projects identified have been completed. He shared several utilities assessments that are being worked on currently and identified many that are yet to be done. Current assessments and studies include projects in areas such as: water reclamation, river water, sidewalks, street signage, water treatment, and solid waste management.