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Construction on the long-awaited water distribution upgrade project is set to begin in earnest this week.
According to city superintendent Brent Wise, three contractors will either begin work or continue work started last fall installing new water pipe throughout the city.
Crain Construction will begin their work in Division 3 (see map) in the area surrounding the square.
Jordan and Sons Construction will continue their work along West Street before beginning their work in Division 1 in the west part of town.
Two crews with Poe Construction will arrive in early April to begin work in Division 2 located north and south of Division 3 as well as in Division 4 in the east side of town.
Wise said all work on the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, weather permitting.
Completion includes the mitigation of disruption to ground along the trenching routes in the city right of way. Reseeding of these areas is also included.
Besides the installation of new water pipe, contractors will also be watching for lead service lines along the routes.
Wise said the city will require the replacement of all lead lines running from the curbside shutoffs to the water meter at the expense of the property owner.
To help with this expense, the city will install the new lines and work with the property owners to reimburse the cost over time.
Property owners who do not have lead service lines are not required to provide any upgrade. However, these owners may arrange with contractors to replace their older service lines as part of preventative maintenance. Those cost would be negotiated between the owner and contractor.
In addition to the water project, contractors working to replace natural gas lines throughout the city will return to town next week.
Wise asks property owners not to remove the yellow flags placed by the natural gas contractors prior to their shutting down their project due to early winter weather. The flags will be removed by the contractors following completion of their work along the flag route.
Wise added most of the natural gas installation will be bored underground, so disruption to individual properties should be minimal.
In the meantime, property owners should contact City Hall with questions or concerns about the project rather than interrupt contractors during their work hours.