At their meeting on Nov. 4, the Gardner City Council considered next steps for mutual aid between Hillside Water Treatment Facility and Rural Water District 7, with the goal of creating an emergency interconnection in the event of a water crisis.
“We hope we never have to use this,” Councilman Mark Baldwin stated succinctly.
Gonzalo Garcia, director of utilities for the city of Gardner, recommended further study to determine how much each water utility could provide, what chemical compatibility issues might hamper mutual aid, and how to move forward. The city has paid Lamp, Rynearson and Associates, Inc., a civil engineering firm, at a cost of $15,537, and the Council voted to add $20,375 for further study.
Gonzalo, who has a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane University and a degree in electrical engineering from Clemson University, draws upon his experiences as supervisor, power source specialist, operations manager and operations assistant superintendent at Florida Power and Light. Gonzalo also worked for Duke Energy since 1997, most recently as the Operations Regional Director in Lima, Peru. He discussed the mutual benefit to W7 and Hillsdale of reciprocal support in times of vulnerability, and the obstacles, such as hydraulic grade difference between the two systems.
Further study will determine whether the city needs a valve vault with Master meters, at cost of $181,600, or a booster pump station with master meters, at cost of $326,300. The Council expressed preference for lower cost. The interconnection location will be at Waverly Road and 183rd Street, Garcia said.
Hillsdale Reservoir, constructed in 1998, can treat up to four million gallons of water daily. Expansion plans, due to be complete in 2021, will raise that capacity to seven million gallons of water daily. Gardner can supply emergency resources of 1.1 million gallons daily, and W7 can supply from 0.4 to 1.0 million gallons daily.
In keeping with strategic priorities of promoting economic development and fiscal responsibility, the Gardner City Council also voted to annex 85.47 more acres of land into the city, at the request of the property owners. That annexation included 71.15 acres of a tract in the vicinity of 175th Street and Waverly Road, owned by Sunrise Investments, a private capital group.
The Council also adopted an ordinance for voluntary annexation of an additional 14.32 acres along the north side of 199th Street, owned by Brian and Sara Moore. The city agreed to rebate the city’s portion of that property owner’s ad valorem taxes. Ad valorem means “according to value” in Latin, and the tax amount is based on the value of a transaction or property.
The Council also released an easement to Lifestyle Building and Design LLC, homebuilders, with the north 10 feet of Lot 2 of Symphony Farms III, a subdivision in Gardner. The city said there would be no financial impact.
In other business, the Council approved city expenditures of $567, 317.96 prepared October 18, and $1,108,147.03 prepared October 25. They further approved issuance of a cereal malt beverage license for the remainder of 2019 to the Dollar General store on Moonlight Road.