Test Wells Set to Begin for New Water Tower

Construction of test wells for the new City of Milford water tower will take place in the following weeks in the South East Region of town. On Tuesday, February 7, during a special meeting, members of Milford City Council reviewed two separate parcels of land that had been previously proposed to host the installation of the test wells.

The two proposed parcels of land are both located in the South East Region of the City of Milford with one site located just east on Route 1, commonly known as the Mills property, and the other located just west of Route 1, commonly known as the Hall property. Previously, during the November 14, 2011 City Council meeting, Council decided to pursue both properties and move forward with the installation of test wells on each property for the purpose of determining the water quality and long term production capacity of the aquifers.

Since that meeting the Mills property, located just east on Route 1, was tabled due to disagreements between the property owners and City officials regarding the exact location of the proposed test wells.

“There was real lack of clarity with which parcels of land was going to be used on the Mills property,” commented Councilman Garret Grier. “ and we need to move forward on this project. The taxpayers have been paying for this project to be done since the City referendum in 2008.”

With the Hall property ready for installation Councilwoman Katrina Wilson made a motion to start the test wells immediately with Councilman Owen Brooks seconding the motion. The motion passed with 6 Council members voting for the motion and 2 Councilmen, Skip Pikus and Dirk Glysteen, voting against the motion.The test well drilling will begin on the Hall site on Wednesday February 15, 2012.

Approaching the 5-year loan expiration date from the USDA Rural Development loan, which was earmarked to help pay for the construction of the water tower, City officials are determined to get this project moving quickly . In a letter to Mayor Rogers. USDA Rural Development shared their concern over the three outstanding loan obligations that would provide $8.56 million for improvements to the City’s water system.

“USDA expects funds to be expended (spent) within five (5) years of obligation,” states the official letter from USDA. “We are concerned that your project has not advanced to the construction stage and the funds approved for the project may be in jeopardy if progress is not made soon.”

During the Council Report on Monday, February 13, City Manager Richard Carmean told City Council that he is very confident that he will be able to get an extension to get this project underway.

City officials state that it should take approximately two weeks to have an idea of the quantity and the quality of the aquifers located on the Hall property. If the water supply is not suitable for the construction of the water tower, action will be taken to start test wells on the Mills property. If the Hall property can produce a sufficient water supply, work on finalizing the design of the water tower will begin immediately. Construction of the water tower will take place after the work is bid out to construction companies this summer. City officials hope to start construction on the tower this fall.

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