Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2006

City issues warning about water pressure

Madrigal Feaste likely to be held at new middle school

November 29, 2006

Tonganoxie City Administrator Mike Yanez is guardedly optimistic that the city's new water tower will be operational within the next week.

"The new water line has been installed. It is operational," Yanez said Monday. "Right now we are awaiting the contractor to come and sanitize the interior of the water tower and after that's done we're ready to fill that tower."

Yanez estimated it would take about 48 hours to fill the 300,000-gallon water reservoir.

Residents on the south side of Tonganoxie will see increased water pressure, from the present 40 pounds per square inch up to 60 pounds per square inch. While this is good news to homeowners, it's also a possible concern. Appliances that may be about to spring a leak may do so when the water pressure increases.

"They've been on low water pressure for so long, the difference between 40 and 60 might be just enough, if the appliance is getting ready to pop a hose or leak," said Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator.

Most appliances include a water shutoff valve. But Bard said if the homeowner has a leak and can't locate that valve they should call the city.

"We'll send somebody out to shut off the water at the meter," Bard said.

And then, she added, it would be up to the homeowner to contact a plumber or appliance repair business to make repairs.

At the new school

While the new water tower must be online for the new middle school to open in mid-January, the city is aiming for an earlier deadline.

Tonganoxie High School's annual Madrigal Feaste is set for Dec. 8 and 9 at the new middle school.

"If everything goes to plan, it could be ready this Friday or early next week," Yanez said Monday.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Day, the accompanist for the high school choir and an assistant organizer of the Madrigal Feaste, has her fingers crossed.

If the tower isn't online by Dec. 8, the Madrigal Feaste will have to be relocated.

But as of Monday, Day said she felt confident the musical event would be held as planned in the new middle school.

New line in place

Yanez said the city's crews installed the half-mile length of line, which runs cross-country from the city's water plant to the new school. Yanez said the water line's cost was projected at $120,480.

"I've got to compliment our city crews," Yanez said. "They did work a lot of 10- and 12-hour days to get that water line installed."

Construction of the new water tower cost about $400,000, with the school district paying $150,000, and the city paying the remainder out of the city's water utility fund.

The project began about a year ago, Yanez said.

City and school officials negotiated how much of the water tower's construction each entity would pay. And a route for the water line had to be decided.

City officials started with a plan to bring the new water line west along Fourth Street and then south to the new school.

"We tried to work with the neighbors on Fourth Street for months to let us use more of their property on the east for easements for water line and sidewalks and expanding Fourth Street," Yanez said. "That really delayed our time because of objections raised. ... But we were able to come up with a plan B."

And in this plan, other property owners donated land for water line easements, which Yanez said saved the city money.

The water tower was built so the new school could have water for fire protection. But, Yanez said, city residents also will benefit from the tower for years to come.

"The neighbors on the south part of town will probably notice an increase in water pressure due to the fact that we have a new storage tank," Yanez said.

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