Butler County Times Gazette
  • Augusta not to pursue alternate water line

  • A decision not to pursue an additional water line under the river at this time
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  • When the Santa Fe Lake water line broke under the Whitewater River last year, the city was provide an opportunity to consider options. Monday night, they decided to proceed with the necessary repairs and not to install an additional water line under the river.
    When the governing body put out bids to repair the damaged water line from Santa Fe Lake to the water treatment plant, they included an alternate additional waterline with the hope the city would save on setup charges and efficiently gain a way to provide water service to the west side of the river. This is an important step for any future westward expansion.
    The bid process was complicated when the company that won the bid to repair the main line did not win the add alternate bid for the extra line. City Engineer Larry Henry negotiated with the main project winning bidder who agreed to a discount on the extra project.
    The alternate water line would have cost the city $126,000.
    Mayor Kristey Williams said she had concerns about spending $126,000 on a line that may not be used for 5-10 years.
    Council Member Matt Malone said the line is an integral part of any westward expansion.
    But Council Member Mike Rawlings said there were other, better locations for expansion and he “was not interested in spending $126,000 on an empty tube.”
    Malone said the city might be able to gain water customers to help offset the cost of the line.
    City Manager Josh Shaw told the council they had three choices. They could do the project with the low bidder, accept the negotiated big with the other construction company or decide not to do the project at all.
    “If westward expansion is going to happen, we will have to cross the river at some point,” Shaw said. “It may never be this cheap again.”
    Ron Reavis said even though he saw the benefit of the line, he was making a motion not to pursue the alternate water line project at this time. Rawlings seconded the motion, which passed 8-0.

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