City holds off on water callThe City Council’s Public Works Committee held off on a decision Thursday regarding Stutsman Rural Water District’s proposed expansion project for portions of its service within city limits. Bob Keller, engineer for Rural Water, explained the proposed pipeline routes. He said in all more than 550 people have requested service in the proposed expansion. Five of those are within city limits along U.S.
The City Council’s Public Works Committee held off on a decision Thursday regarding Stutsman Rural Water District’s proposed expansion project for portions of its service within city limits.
Bob Keller, engineer for Rural Water, explained the proposed pipeline routes. He said in all more than 550 people have requested service in the proposed expansion. Five of those are within city limits along U.S. Highway 281. City Administrator Jeff Fuchs said the city has an agreement with Rural Water to allow them to provide service to properties along the 281 corridor.
Two properties on Fifth Street N.W., known to many as Stockyard Road, have also requested service. Although within city limits, the area has neither city nor rural water service. Rural Water is proposing to serve at the request of the Stutsman County Road Department and Border States Paving. Again Fuchs said staff had no objection to Rural Water providing service as the city has no plans to serve that area.
However, Fuchs said Rural Water providing a backup supply of water to the Jamestown Regional Medical Center is different. The medical center is within city limits, but at this point there is no city or rural service in that area.
“Reed (Schwartzkopf, city engineer) and I are opposed to Rural Water serving the new medical center,” Fuchs said. “The city can serve the medical center. When we can’t we have an understanding with Rural Water that they can.”
Mayor Katie Andersen, who chairs the Public Works Committee, asked what happens with Rural Water’s infrastructure if the city annexes an area. Fuchs said the city purchases the infrastructure if it meets the city’s requirements.
Andersen added she has questions about potential development and whether Rural Water’s expansion in the area of the medical center hinders that.
“I don’t think we have enough information to make a decision today,” she said.
The committee sent the item on to the City Council without recommendation.
After the meeting, Steve Suko, the city’s utility operations director, said he has a problem with Rural Water providing backup water to the medical center.
“We sell water to Rural Water and it becomes their water. The city is also providing water to the medical center,” Suko said. “Who is responsible then for the water quality?”
Schwartzkopf added apparently Jamestown Hospital’s concern is having a backup in case the city’s water system failed. He said that was why he requested the hospital to put in a loop water system to its new facility.
“The loop creates a redundant path,” he said. If one part of the system fails, water can be supplied through the other pipe.
However at this point, Schwartzkopf said, Jamestown Hospital hasn’t formally requested the city allow Rural Water to serve the medical center.
“It’s a council decision,” he said.
The Finance and Legal Committee also held off on a decision about the redesign of the city’s website. Josh Smagge, who is the county’s Webmaster and computer technician, submitted a proposal to redesign the website on his own time for $6,720. Smagge redesigned the county’s website.
“He is the county’s IT person and works for the city as well,” Fuchs said. “The advantage of that is he would be readily available to work out the bugs.”
The city and county share the county’s mainframe computer. As part of the city’s agreement with the county and what it pays for, Smagge would also be the city’s IT person.
“I also met with CSi because we’re presently on their (Internet) system. They recommended Josh,” said Councilman Pat Nygaard.
Andersen said she would be more comfortable if the city sought more proposals, especially local ones. Fuchs said he’d gotten four.
“Another local company proposal was considerably higher and our other two were from out of state,” he said.
He added he would provide copies of all the proposals to the council members. The Finance and Legal Committee voted to send the item on to the council with no recommendation.
In other business:
* the Finance and Legal Committee voted to deny Last Leg Taxi a subsidy for providing taxi service. Jamestown Taxi currently gets a subsidy through the city that is paid for with federal funds.
* the Building, Planning and Zoning Committee approved St. James Basilica’s request to build a wood frame structure in a fire zone. Neither the fire department nor the city’s building administrator had an objection.
* the Public Works Committee supported the police department in its decision to begin issuing citations rather than notices to clean up junk at 1320 15 1/2 Ave. S.W. The neighbors were at the City Council meeting Tuesday to complain about the problem. Police Chief Dave Donegan said the junk in the yard is a chronic problem.
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at email@example.com