North water tower may be taken off line
City to bid out study with three firms
GRAFTON — Grafton City Council members were informed at their Monday meeting of plans to begin a study that would allow the water department to discontinue the use of one of the city’s water towers.
Grafton Water Plant Superintendent Ken Miskavige told council members that plans were underway to do a water modeling study which will include a study of whether Grafton could handle its water needs using only one of the city’s two water towers. The south tower has a holding capacity of 500,000 gallons while the north tower has a holding capacity of 100,000 gallons. Miskavige told council members neither tower is operating anywhere near capacity.
Bids have been solicited with three engineering firms including Advanced Engineering, Grand Forks; KLJ Engineering, Grafton; and Moore Engineering, Fargo. The study will look into water flows, usage and the complete water distribution system.
“We will find out if the south tower and our water mains and piping will be capable of maintaining the water pressure needs of the entire city including the north and northeast ends of town,” Miskavige said. “I believe our systems can handle the needs using only one tower.”
If the study shows the plan is feasible, the north tower would be taken off line.
“We would still keep the north tower in place and it would be completely usable,” Miskavige said. “That would allow us to use it at any time or to switch over if the south tower needed repairs.”
Miskavige hopes the study can be completed by the end of the summer. If the study shows it is feasible, there would be very low costs involved to take the north tower off line.
“The costs would be mostly man hours and really would be part of the daily routine,” Miskavige said.
In other business the council:
• Approved a design contract with KLJ Engineering for phase two of the N. Starr addition on the south end of town for the installation of water, sewer and electricity. The contract is for just under $40,000 with construction to begin this spring. Paving of the N. Starr addition will not begin until 2014.
• Heard from Street and Wastewater Department Superintendent Mike Houska as he informed council members that he has called for bids for sand and gravel to be available if flooding becomes an issue.
• Miskavige wants to remind city residents how important it is for the snow to be removed around fire hydrants. He says it’s critically important for fire fighters to be able to access the hydrants. He recommends snow be cleaned at least four feet away from hydrants to allow firefighters easy access without having to take time to clean away snow.
• Approved an application for a special event beverage permit by the Extra End for the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser at the Centennial Center, April 6.
• Received an update on the 2013 flood forecast for the Park River at Grafton. The last report received Feb. 21 showed a 25 percent chance of reaching the 13.2 feet stage and a 95 percent of reaching 10.5 feet stage. That shows an increase of almost 1½ feet compared to the forecast issued Jan. 24. A new forecast will be issued next week and expectations are for an additional increase in water levels due to recent heavy snowfall amounts.
• City Administrator Nick Ziegelmann reported to the council that he is working with the Walsh County Development Authority on a $60,000 grant to purchase a second digital projector for the Strand Theater in Grafton.