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T’town ready to make connection
October 21, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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With an almost completed water agreement and soon-to-arrive initial funding, Terrytown’s project to upgrade its entire water system appears to be getting underway.

City Engineer Jeff Wolfe said they’ve made the final revisions for Phase 1 of the project, making three required connections to Gering’s water system.

“We’re sending the plan back to the state for final approval,” Wolfe said. “All the connections along Country Club Road should be made this winter.”

Some of the project’s funding from the state’s Community Development Block Grant program will be available in November. The block grants will pay $250,000 of the project’s estimated $3.2 million cost.

Wolfe said he also received an email from Panhandle Area Development District the was good news because funding had to be in place before the city could advertise for bids on the Phase 1 part of the project.

Terrytown council members also authorized Mayor Kent Greenwalt to sign an agreement to purchase water from neighboring Gering once approved. The agreement establishing the rates sets the starting price at 65 cents per 1,000 gallons for the first 1.3 million gallons. Over that amount, the rate goes up to 75 cents per 1,000 gallons.

During the summer, Terrytown averages 3 to 4 million gallons of water per month. In the winter, consumption stays steady at about 1.5 million gallons.

That rate was comparable to what Scottsbluff offered the city. Wolfe said they decided to purchase water from Gering because of its proximity. Gering’s transmission main parallels the Terrytown city limits, so connections were already nearby. Also, Gering fluoridates its water, and Scottsbluff doesn’t. Terrytown voters had earlier approved fluoridation.

Phase 2 of the water project is the most extensive. It calls for replacement of several water mains in Terrytown. Neighboring unincorporated Bellevue will also receive water mains. Once work is done, an agreement for Terrytown to assume ownership of the Bellevue water mains goes into effect. Also during 2017, all residential and commercial properties will be connected to a water metering system. That part of the project is expected to be completed in 2017. However, some leftover work might spill over into 2018.

Phase 3 will complete the overall project as the city seals the lead paint covering the water tower, which must be done during warmer weather.

The project has been in the works for the past eight years. Costs will be covered by city resources, along with bonding by both the State of Nebraska and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

At the council’s October meeting, City Administrator Lonnie Miller announced that Tammy Leeling, previously with Gering Public Schools, has been hired as Terrytown’s city office manager. She takes over those duties next year when current manager Linda Green retires after 21 years of service.
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