City Council looks at replacing old water mains while timing is right

By Gary Scott on November 15, 2016 at 7:22am

The time to replace old water mains may be sooner rather than later for the City of Jacksonville.

At last night’s City Council meeting, aldermen heard a presentation from Jamie Headen, a Principal Civil Engineer with Benton & Associates, about the city’s options when it comes to three water mains.

Headen expanded on his findings…

“We discussed potentially replacing the water mains from the old water treatment plant all the way up to the west side of Hardin. There’s three existing water mains there now that had been put in from the early 1900s all the way to the late sixties. After the water main break of June 2016, where the city was without service for a little while, new information was then known that supported the decision to consider replacing those mains now while we have a construction project going on and being able to offset those costs with the four million dollars in grant that the city received for the treatment plant project,” says Headen.

Headen went on to explain what a replacement of the three water mains would mean for Jacksonville and how it could improve the current system.

“Currently the water mains leave the treatment plant and before they branch off to go to various parts of the system, that’s where the main break happened in June. So they weren’t able to isolate that and at the same time the treatment plant was not able to operate at that time because it was on the only section that goes out to the rest of the system. With the main replacement, we’d be able to isolate two different directions and be able to feed the city from two different sides that way,” Headen says.

As for Mayor Andy Ezard’s thoughts, he believes there is an opportunity for the city to avoid a reoccurrence of what happened in June and save some money while doing so.

“There is potentially savings if we’re ready to do a new water main project through the area of our new construction of our water plant, it makes sense at this time because the contractors are already there, potential local contract again. So I think the council understands that it would probably be a cost-savings if we went ahead and did it right now instead of delay it, cause we do not want things to happen like in June,” Ezard says.

Another item discussed at last night’s meeting was a request from Shopko for a liquor license, which failed to pass. Aldermen also heard a request for Jacksonville Speedway to potentially expand its events next year. However, that item was pushed back until the November 29th meeting due to the absence of Deb Casson.