Council agrees to repair dispenser
When Tonganoxie City Council members agreed to close the bulk water dispenser east of downtown for the winter, City Superintendent Butch Rodgers issued a gentle warning.
"City hall's going to get some calls, trust me," Rodgers told council members on Dec. 27. "And maybe the mayor and the council people who are available, trust me."
Rodgers should be a fortune-teller.
Rural residents who use water from the dispenser flooded into the Jan. 10 city council meeting, asking council members to repair the dispenser.
"I believe you got some response, didn't you?" Rodgers said to council members Monday, as he outlined options for the dispenser.
The city could either shut it down permanently or install a new one, at a better location.
The council opted for the second choice, at a cost not to exceed $20,000.
"I will be conscientious and try to keep it under the maximum amount," Rodgers said.
The existing dispenser was purchased in August 1957 from Vernon Manufacturing, based in Gypsum. Rodgers talked with a Vernon employee recently.
"He asked how in the world it could still be operating," Rodgers said. "I told him it wasn't, at this point in time."
It is likely the cost of obtaining water from the dispenser will increase, as the city works to recoup its cost of purchase or parts and construction.
It's possible a new dispenser could be operating by early to mid-March, Rodgers said. Plans call for the dispenser to be moved away from the middle of the lot it now is in, and city crew want to install a drain, so that spilled water doesn't flow into Fourth Street.
"The water falls into a pit, like a car wash," Rodgers said.