|Terrytown preps for water project|
|November 13, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
While Terrytown waits for approval of state funding to begin its water system overhaul, the city is taking care of some of the paperwork.
Attorney Kent Hadenfeldt told council members the USDA is requiring the city to amend its service agreement with Sanitary Improvement District (SID) #2, the unincorporated Bellevue Addition.
The agreement was extended last February, but Hadenfeldt said the USDA had “heartburn” over some of the terms. The agreement provides that Bellevue water lines be transferred back to the SID in the event Terrytown ceased supplying them water and sewer service.
USDA did approve new terms that would transfer ownership of the water and sewer lines to Terrytown. Without the original language, Terrytown is under no obligation to return the lines to the SID.
Terrytown council members agreed in principle to the terms of the new agreement, which must still be approved by Bellevue’s SID board before the document can be officially signed.
Hadenfeldt said the agreement for Gering to provide Terrytown’s water is almost completed. Legal counsel and engineers have reviewed what he hopes will be the final draft. If everything is in order, the agreement should go into effect in the next two months.
City Engineer Jeff Wolfe said once the water project gets underway, Bellevue’s water lines that currently run under the middle of the street, will be moved to behind the curbing. That will save on the cost of tearing up paved streets to make needed repairs. “As part of the project, almost all of the existing water lines in Bellevue will be replaced,” he said.
Bellevue residents are currently paying a $15 a month as an “own in” fee for upgrading the sewer lines, over and above their regular water rates.
Wolfe recommended Terrytown use those funds to start rehabbing the sewer system prior to the state release of funds for the larger upgrade project.
Terrytown council members also approved a five percent across-the-board increase in water and sewer rates for 2016.
A new ordinance, patterned after Scottsbluff’s, was also approved, allowing for new digital signs, something their old ordinance prohibited.
Terrytown has a new employee in the maintenance department after council approved the hiring of Dennis McLaughlin from among 14 applicants for the position. McLaughlin has worked part time for the city since 2010 and will join supervisor Hugo Chairez as the city’s full time maintenance crew.