Council gets update on water transmission line


A short agenda greeted Wayne City Council members during Tuesday's regular meeting.

Council members first heard an update from Fire Chief Phil Monahan.

Monahan detailed activities the Wayne Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department has been involved in during the past year.

He said that since May 1, 2020 the department has responded to 49 fire calls and 16 rescue calls. While no in-person meetings were held for several months because of COVID-19 concerns, members of the department did conduct drills via Zoom and are planning to attend State Fire School in Grand Island in May of this year.

Monahan said the department's oldest truck, known as "36" is in the process of having some work done to it and will be on display at a museum in Kearney for a year.

The replacement cost for a new fire truck and the amount of time needed for the truck to be manufactured was also discussed.  Monahan said a new truck could cost approximately $500,000 and take up to a year and a half to build.

The department did not hold either of the traditional omelet feeds in 2020 and the spring event, but are planning to hold one later this year. These generally bring in more than $8,000, which the department uses to purchase new equipment.

Casey Junck, Water/Wastewater Superintendent gave council members an update on the water transmission main project.

Junck said that since the transmission line was installed last August, the city hasn't been able to get a sample to pass state requirements.

"We have taken 41 samples, which cost $15 each and have had to take six trips to Lincoln to get the samples tested. We have flushed the system and pumped approximately 4.5 millions gallons of water through it. Lots of manpower has gone into trying to find a solution," Junck told the council.

Debate was held on what the next step should be in an effort to get water into the city that passes inspection.

Junck suggested chlorinating the city's water supply for the next six months while efforts are taken to find the source of the problem.

City staff will work with the engineers on the project to see what can be done while the project is under warranty. Of specific interest are several valves that were installed that were not those originally designed into the project. The original valve was unavailable due to COVID-19-related shortages.

Information was also presented to the council on the city's Building Department Codes.

Joel Hansen, Street and Planning Director, told the council that Todd Hoeman is the person who generally conducts inspections on properties.

Hansen also shared a 10-year history of building in the city, building values and permits collected by the city. He explained several spikes in these numbers, including large building projects and the fact that the city did not collect building permit fees following the tornado of 2013.

Also shared was information on the changes in value of properties that were identified by the Problem Resolution Team (PRT) during the last 15 years and noted that these updates resulted in an increase in valuation of $4,845,180 for the city.

The council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Community Activity Center.