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T’town begins water project design
April 15, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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With Terrytown’s acceptance of its water project contract, and approval of federal reporting requirements, the city is ready to start work on upgrading its water system.

On April 7, city council members met authorizing Mayor Kent Greenwalt and City Clerk Linda Green to sign documents required by government agencies as part of the water project. Members also approved the contract submitted by MC Schaff and Associates for the work.

City Engineer Jeff Wolfe said the Environmental Protection Agency approved the Environmental Impact Statement filed for the project. Now the design work can begin.

“We’ll start designing the project right away,” Wolfe said. “In the next 60 days the actual USDA grant loan offer should be here for signature. The council will also need to appoint a bonding agency.”

The cost of the project is expected to total $3.1 million. Funding will come from Terrytown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nebraska’s State Revolving Fund, and the Community Development Block Grant program from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

The agreement for Terrytown to purchase water from Gering has also been approved, but still needs signatures from both city councils.

The first phase of the Terrytown water project is to get the water system connected with Gering. That work should begin next fall.

Wolfe said the project phase to connect all residences and businesses to a water metering system could begin in the winter of 2016-2017 because the water table is low at that time. Meters due to be installed will feature real-time reading and mapping, so the city can monitor exactly how much water is being used at any given time.

Currently, Terrytown charges a flat fee for unlimited water usage, a policy left over from a decade ago when the city’s population classified it as a village.

Next year, several water mains and lines will be replaced in Terrytown and neighboring unincorporated Bellevue, which is part of the Terrytown water system. City officials are anxious to get that work completed because only maintenance is currently being done on city streets. Water main replacement could require tearing up some streets, so any recent repairs would have to be redone.

The final phase of the water project may be completed in late 2017 or early 2018. The original water tower is covered in lead based paint, which could present an environmental issue. The city plans to seal the tower exterior with epoxy to minimize the possible hazard. However, once the tower reaches its life expectancy, the city will need to find a permanent solution.
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