Water Pressure North of Rt 70

Quick Thoughts on the proposal to Increase the Water Pressure North of 70:
  • I don't know how most members of council decided they have enough understanding of the issue to say that it definitely is needed and they are willing to spend more than $2 million dollars to fix it.
    • I believe council needs a complete report on the scope of the problem for residents
    • I believe council needs a complete analysis on how it effects possible development and current businesses
  • A 2007 report mentions a High Pressure Zone North of Interstate 70 
    • the 21 page of the report gives a cost estimate of creating a high pressure zone when building a new water tower
    • the 23 page explains the work that would have needed to be done had the city chosen to build a higher tower
  • There are some items in the recent memorandum that I wish we were discussing. 
    • Why weren't the attachments mentioned in the memorandum provided?  
    • In the current system its seems that the "Things that add complexity" don't apply but if we go to this system they all apply
      • The pumping from Emeraldgate Tank to the RT40 tank has to be quite complex in order to make sure cancer causing chemicals don't form
    • Early in the report it tells us that the current system can deliver 7 million gallons a day.  Later in the report it tells us that the new system will be set up to deliver 2.5 million gallons a day to the new North Side High pressure zone and extra ordinary procedures will need to be followed in case of a "perfect fire". 

Quick paragraph:

I don't know why the city decided to build the new rt40 water tower at the same height that the other towers in the city were built.  If they had built it 58 feet higher or replaced the Emeraldgate tower with one that was 58 feet taller then there would be no need for the complexity of this new proposal.  That is; constantly running boost pumps and a complex water transfer system from the Emeraldgate to Rt40 tank.  It will also be interesting to see how much we spent on building the Rt40 tank and seeing how much more this new proposal will be in total compared to what it would have cost if it would have been done right in the first place.  

The other concern I have is that even though there are a good number of residents in the effected zone that would be happier if their pressure were higher, most of the genesis for this "need" is because it will make it cheaper for businesses to build around "the Heights" and the northern part of Rt201.  In other words, it may be a $2.2 million dollar economic development package.  If that is the case, then I definitely think this is something that should go to the voters.  If the choice is, do we provide $2.2 million dollars in economic development for Executive Blvd or $2.2 million dollars for a City Center or Brandt Pike Renovation plan I think this is something that should go to the voters.  Some people may say why not both?  Others may say why is the City paying for either?  In any case, I believe we need to let residents know our reasoning and give them an opportunity to provide their input.  

I know some people will point out that right now we are proposing paying for the $2.2 million water pressure improvements by increasing water rates and it is unlikely that a Brandt Pike revitalization plan will call for $2.2 million dollars in water and sewer improvements.   They will make what will seem like a logical conclusion that we couldn't use a water rate hike to pay for anything but the pressure project.  This would be wrong.  Right now we are planning to pay for $11 million dollars of water and sewer improvements using TIF dollars.  A ballot measure could be constructed asking if you would be willing to raise your water rates 6% in order to pay $2.2 million dollars of that $11 million dollar debt on the condition that the TIF money freed up be targeted for infrastructure improvements to create a city center. 

Conclusion:  I'm hoping council asks for all the information we need to make a good decision on the water pressure issue.  One way to show their commitment to a full discussion is to revive the ballot measure proposal and continue with the second and third readings.  The other is to support my original requests.  One, scope out how big of an issue is this for residents.  Two, provide a report on the economic benefit to the current and possible businesses in the area;  how much would a pump cost for established businesses?  How much do they add to new construction?

Quick Links:  

Video of the May 3rd work session - discussion starts about 11 minutes 40 seconds and goes for about an hour 10 minutes.  
Minutes May 3, 2016 -  
Agenda Notice May 3, 2016
Agenda Notice Jun 7, 2016



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