City workers to replace line, save big money

The decision of two department heads to take on a major project could save the city of Vandalia up to $50,000.
Public Works Director Marlin Filer and Water Plant Superintendent Marty Huskey have jointly agreed to replace the line delivering water from Vandalia Lake to the city’s water treatment plant.
The city learned of a major leak several weeks ago and recently determined, Huskey said, that Kaskaskia River flooding had eroded a west river bank and also broke the lake supply line north of the water plant.
That line delivers about 1.3 million gallons of water from the lake daily, Huskey said.
Mayor Rick Gottman reported at Monday’s city council meeting that about 1,000 linear feet of the supply line will have to be replaced.
He said the estimated cost of having an outside company perform the repair work is $90,000, and that with Filer and Huskey having their departments do the work, it will cost $40,000-$50,000.
Huskey said that they got a good start on the project on Monday, and he estimated that it would take about two more days to complete it, adding that additional rains could slow the progress.
He said that the city crews are working about 75 feet from the river in replacing the line.
Also at the council meeting, aldermen heard good news about progress on a third water source for the city.
Walt Barenfanger, a partner with Jeff Beckman in Kaskaskia Springs Water Co., reported that they had been granted operating permits for two wells they will use to supply water to the city.
Barenfanger said that he would begin talking with Huskey about hooking up with the city for water service.
The council last year approved a one-year contract through which Kaskaskia Springs agrees to provide the city with up to 150,000 gallons of water daily at a rate of at least 100 gallons per minute from the two wells.
The city will pay Kaskaskia Springs 40 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, as well as the electricity bills for and the maintenance of pumps used to get the water to the city plant.
Barenfanger clarified on Monday that the one-year agreement kicks in when the partners begin providing water.
Also at the meeting:
• The council, at Gottman’s request, agreed to consider waivers in the city’s zoning code to allow pipeline workers with Enbridge to locate campers and RV’s at various locations in town.
Gottman said that making the allowance will benefit property owners renting land as well as numerous businesses in town during the pipeline project.
Alderman Jerry Swarm brought up the idea of allowing the pipeline workers to set up in the lake campgrounds.
• The council approved a one-year agreement with Emerick Farms for 120 acres of city property on the west end of Main Street at VanZant Avenue.
Under the agreement, the cash rent for the property is $31,388.40.
• After City Clerk Peggy Bowen reported that the city had been getting calls about mosquito spraying, even though the city is not responsible for spraying, Alderman Russ Stunkel, a member of the Mosquito Abatement District Board, said that the district is working under a schedule for abatement.
• The council observed a moment of silence for Dolores Bone, the mother of former city employee Randy Bone.
• Filer told aldermen that a resident in the area of Jefferson Street and Mark Drive has requested speed limit and “Slow-Children Playing” signs on Mark Drive.
Aldermen agreed that the resident should address the council with the request.

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