By Jeff Gallatin
City officials are preparing to act quickly in an effort to make sure work on an emergency sewer line repair over Cahoon Creek proceeds quickly.
Council heard a report Monday from administration officials about problems with the aerial sewer line over Cahoon Creek. While gathering information for a required report to the federal Environmental Protection Agency – which is due today – city officials found that the line was leaking and in need of a fast repair.
Mayor Debbie Sutherland said it is functioning right now, but said the city needs to act quickly.
“It’s a very old line which we believe was put into service sometime in the 1940s,” she said Friday. “We’ve checked and looked around for records on the line and haven’t been able to find much.”
But the recent examination shows the need to replace the line, Sutherland said.
“It’s old and corroded and the materials they used then just aren’t as good as what’s used nowadays,” she said. “We have to get something else in place before it really gives out and we have a much bigger problem to deal with. That’s why we’re asking city council to pass this on an emergency basis.”
Sutherland said after council passes the legislation, plans would have to be drawn up, then the project would be placed out for bid.
Finance Director Steve Presley said it’s possible the project could be bid out and the work done or at least started before the end of 2011.
“It’s possible if we get the design and planning done quickly, then we could get it in by the end of the year,” he said.
Initial estimates place the project cost at more than $800,000.
“It’s not a small one; we need that line,” Sutherland said. “But it’s helpful that it’s not as weather-dependent as some other public works project, so we could get this one in at the end of the year in weather that could slow or stop other projects from going forward.”
City Council President Brian Cruse said Friday he would expect a vote and passage of emergency legislation on the line Sept. 12, when council holds its meeting after the end of the summer break.
“We’re examining the information and (Service Director) Dan Galli is getting everything to us so we’re prepared for this,” he said. “Based on what I’ve seen, yes, it looks like we have to act and get this problem fixed.”