After years of nothing but negative options in its water system, the Augusta City Council got good news on several fronts Monday night.
A letter from EL Dorado City Manager Herb Llewellyn Jr. informed the city that El Dorado is willing to waive the city’s take or pay provision for this year. Due to the drought conditions earlier in the year, the city leaned heavily on El Dorado Lake for its usable water.
But thanks to lower usage this year and also using the newly filled Augusta City Lake more heavily, the city probably won’t even need a waiver of the maximum amount of water from El Dorado this year.
Despite the plentiful supply, the city isn’t taking any chances with outdoor watering restrictions. Residents can water all day any day except for Wednesday and Sunday.
“We want to wait to get Santa Fe Lake back online before lifting restrictions,” Interim City Manager Josh Shaw said.
The governing body received an update on that project.
FEMA’s decision on whether to make Butler County a disaster area from the recent flood event was delayed due to the government shutdown. But if the county is included, repairing the Santa Fe Lake water line would like be an included project since high flood waters caused the break in the line in the Whitewater River crossing.
If the project is certified by FEMA, the city could receive up to 75 percent of the cost of the project back.
The project is also going to be less expensive than previously expected because MKEC engineers cut the length of the directional boring under the river down from 600 feet to 400 feet.
The engineering firm is also going to provide a cost estimate for a parallel line when they set up to do the water line repairs. That parallel line could be the basis for getting water utilities across the river which could lead to future development on that side of the river.
The council asked MKEC to provide an estimate with only the waterline replacement and also with the parallel line that could be used in the future.