City working to solve water leak

The city of Vandalia has asked for assistance from its consulting engineers is trying to take care of a water leak.
And the mayor has asked the engineers to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take the city’s issue into consideration as they decide on the release of water from Lake Shelbyville.
Marty Huskey, the city’s water plant superintendent, told the city council on Monday that they have been using purple dye in an attempt to find the leak, and believe it is between the city’s water and sewer plants.
Possibly, Huskey said, the leak could have been caused by work being done on the Interstate 70 bridges over the Kaskaskia River, south of the sewer plant.
Huskey told aldermen that the city is using a “homemade intake” to pull water from the river, and that they are concerned about losing the use of that intake if predictions of considerable rain this week become reality.
For the time being, there should be no concerns about having enough water to serve the city, as the city’s water towers are “crammed full.”
Having trouble finding the leak, Huskey and Public Works Director Marlin Filer contacted Rodney Potts of John Crawford and Associates for assistance.
At Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Rick Gottman reported that he had asked Potts to contact the Corps of Engineers, asking them to consider delaying releases of water at the Shelbyville dam.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
• The council approved the reappointment of Dean Black to the city’s Police Pension Board.
• The council approved the annual prevailing wage rate ordinance.
• The council approved a $50,000 payment to Crawford and Associates for preliminary engineering services on the Sunset Drive improvement project.
• The council accepted the proposal from J.F. Brennan Co. Inc. of La Crosse, Wis., for the inspection and cleaning of the water tower at Vandalia Country and Golf Club. The city will pay $11,295 for the work.
The council also accepted the proposal from Metro-Ag Inc. of Breese for cleaning out the water plant lagoon. The city will pay the firm $108,000 for that work.
When aldermen questioned the amount being spent on these projects, Gottman said that they are things that “have been on the back burner and need to be done.”
• The council approved an amendment to the ordinance it approved two weeks ago, a city law that allows for the issuance of liquor licenses for such things as wine tastings.
The amendment clarifies that the fee for a Class T license is $100 per event.
• The council had the first reading on a request to allow restaurants to have employees age 18 and over serve alcohol.
Currently, all servers of alcohol in the city are required to be at least 21 years of age.
The Gallatin Street Grille made the initial request, and Gottman said that The Copper Penny made the same request a short time later.
The city’s legal counsel will draft an amending ordinance that will be put before the council for a vote.
• The Rev. Carl Rhodes, pastor at Northside Christian Church, explained the rural clergy program designed to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The council also learned about a new family support group for people affected by family members’ substance abuse.
The first meeting of Nar-Anon Family Group will be held at 7 p.m. next Thursday at Northside Christian Church.

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