A public hearing was conducted Monday evening on the Plymouth Water Utility Improvement Projects during the Common Council meeting.

Shannon McLeod, the city’s federal grant writer from Priority Project Resources explained the projects included in the OCRA, Office of Community and Rural Affairs grant application that will be submitted on December 22nd.  The first project is the rehabilitation of the 1-million-gallon water tower on PIDCO Drive built in 1977.  Work includes a thorough cleaning of the tank on the inside and outside with an abrasive scrub. All interior and exterior paint will be removed, and all new coatings will be applied.   There will be structural modification where the tank has rusted in some spots.  McLeod said the city wants to address those issues now.

The work on the water tank requires a specialized company to do the work. Those companies span from Pennsylvania to Texas. 

Another water project is updates to the water distribution lines on East Jefferson Street where the old 4 and 6-inch water mains aren’t providing enough capacity flow and are prone to breaks.  It also can’t provide enough water supply for fire suppression.  The old line will be abandoned, and a new 12-inch water main will be installed with additional fire hydrants. 

There are some dead-end water lines south of downtown in the South Plum, Gilmore, and Douglas areas.  They are from the 40s. Dead-end lines don’t continuously flow so stagnant water can be an issue that isn’t desirable.  There are also major maintenance issues in the area that can be improved.  There is also a water main line resting on the top of the bed of the Yellow River which is exposed.  These lines will be abandoned, and new lines will be installed that will loop and eliminate the Yellow River crossing.

The total cost estimate presented by Midwestern Engineering is $2,492,270.  The OCRA Grant request is $700,000 and the City Water Department will match the grant with $1,792,270 of cash on hand in the current water depreciation fund.

McLeod said she believes the city has a strong application but it is an extremely competitive process. 

Council member Greg Compton asked how long the project will take and if the projects will disrupt water service to the community. 

The grant writer said they plan to put the work out to bid in March with construction to begin in April.  The water lines will take one construction season and the water tower will continue when the contractor can get here and complete the work.  It should only take a few weeks.  The city can operate with only one water tower easily with planning.   

Following the public hearing, the Common Council approved the resolution for the local match and to apply for the OCRA Grant.