Council reviews Water Utility Extension Feasibility Report

At the Monday night City Council meeting the Water Utility Extension Feasibility Report for the unincorporated area of South Shore Drive was reviewed.

Administrator Scott Flory summarized, “There is a long way to go and we are just getting started, but we know it is feasible and that’s significant.”

The area considered consists of about 35 single-family residential dwellings in the Clear Lake State Park to 265th St. area that are now served by individual private well systems.

Flory noted, “The area has long dealt with arsenic issues that, as a result, require private wells to be drilled to an extraordinary depth in order to achieve acceptable limits and be permitted by the County Department of Public Health.  Obviously, the lack of a municipal water distribution system exacerbates challenges of fire suppression, as evidenced by a very recent fire in that area.”

Flory also explained that the City has invested well over $10 million in its water distribution system, including storage and Treatment Plant improvements over the past 10 years.  The anticipated street and below grade utility improvements presents an opportunity for the City to be responsive to the many inquiries it has received over the years from area residents about providing municipal water service to that area of South Shore Drive. The analysis determined that the area can be served without making any additional upgrades to storage or treatment facilities.

The next step is to determine interest and willingness to participate in the project. If sufficient interest is present, improvements could be incorporated into the project anticipated for S. Lakeview Drive and design could begin this fall and the project let for bids in February of 2019.

“Preliminary estimates indicate that costs to the area residents would likely be commensurate with the costs of drilling a deep well and providing individual treatment to that well water to improve odor and taste.  Likely by combining it with S. Lakeview Drive improvements, the costs could even be less.  There are a couple options for construction and the City would need to select the route that was most advantageous financially,” said Flory.

Other City Council proceedings indicate that the first of three readings of the proposal to re-zone the Northland Glass property has passed. Two additional meetings are required to enact the change to a “multi-family, market-rate apartment” structure.

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