Sixth street construction continues

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The Sixth Street water main improvement project is still underway. A $16,745 change order was added to the project by the council during its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 5, that will prevent a citywide boil order.

The council also approved a $64,029.62 pay estimate for contractor Morris Enterprises in order to begin paying off the $175,000 project.

"From what I understand most of the difficult parts that they had to do they've already accomplished," said Veenstra & Kimm City Engineer Leo Foley. He expects the city will receive more pay requests as the project nears completion.

The project, which began in July, is improving water mains and replacing isolated valves along the street in order to increase their reliability.

The change order will enable construction workers to use an insertion valve instead of a regular valve. Water mains are the main line in water supply throughout the city while valves maintain the flow of water.

The benefit of an insertion valve is that it can be installed while the existing main is still under pressure. Basically, an insertion valve causes no water loss or water service interruption while being installed.

It's a faster but more expensive method. However, the valves are becoming more popular in many towns.

"It provides a quicker service to get them up and running as well as preventing having to do a boil order and disrupting too many people's lives," said City Manager Lawrence McNaul.

Towns are often required to do a boil order when working on water lines and their own infrastructure, the orders require community members to boil their water to kill possible harmful pathogens.

However, that lack of disruption to the city's water service on Sixth Street due to an insertion valve prevents the city from having to declare a boil order. It saves time for the city, which plans to have the project completed by September.

For the most part, the project has gone well, according to an update by Foley. There was a delay when the construction crew accidentally moved a pipe early on.

The crew is doing directional boring, a process by which underground pipes are installed by cables underground in a bored out path, eliminating the need for a trench. The reason is to prevent digging up ground and damaging trees.

However, during a pressure test a pipe moved, which had to be put back otherwise it would crack. It added another week or so to the project. But, the insertion valve will save time, putting the project back on schedule.

Next, the council discussed looking into other insurance carriers for its municipal insurance in order to see if the city can find a lower cost.

EMC Insurance Companies, out of Des Moines, currently provides West Liberty with its municipal insurance, which covers property and liability coverage for the town since its responsible for roads, highways and other public services.

"I think it’s probably been at least a decade, or better, that we've even looked at different insurance carriers," said Mayor Robert Hartman. "It doesn't hurt to look out there and see what kind of prices are out there."

The West Liberty Community School District is partially responsible for the revived interest in looking at other insurance carriers. It recently switched to the state cooperative known as the Iowa Public School Insurance Program (IPSIP).

The change in WLCSD's property casualty and workers' compensation providers netted the district approximately $60,000 in savings.

"I had several insurance companies that had approached us," said City Manager McNaul. "I just want council approval to go out and look at some of this stuff."

West Liberty is carried by EMS through April 1 of next year, if the city changes it needs to have everything in place by December.

In other news…

-The council approved a vendor/voucher claims list totaling $497,935.80 less payroll.

-The council approved blocking off Third Street from Calhoun to Spencer Street for the 2014 West Liberty Children's Festival to be held on Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual event is put together by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company.

-The city signed an easement with New Strand Theatre owner Todd Leach to allow the city to run a water line from his building to Ron-de-Voo Park.

Recent renovations at the park require the installation of a water line so that plants can be watered. For one dollar Leach will allow the city to use the waterline on his property, so long as the city maintains it.

-The council approved the seventh and final pay estimate totaling $39,766.06 to WRH Inc. of Amana, Iowa, for the first phase of water treatment plant improvements.

-The city set a date for a work session on Aug. 19 to begin at 6:30 p.m. that will include discussion from the sidewalk committee.
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