Purdy aldermen review tree trimming, stormwater needs

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Attention diverted by water meter work slated for November

Purdy officials are laying down strategies for projects through the end of the year, which may vary based on timing.

City Clerk Debbie Redshaw reported Utility Services, with whom the city signed a deal for managing the city’s water system, will begin installation of new water meters in mid-November. Redshaw discussed the installation process with the clerk in Lockwood, where Utility Services already put its program in place.

Much of the initial installation will involve replacing all the lips for water meters. The current metal lids will not permit radio signals to pass through. The new system will work on radio reading, eliminating monthly manual reading. The new plastic lids will be locked.

Redshaw said residents should check to see that they have shut-off valves installed prior to the changeover. Homeowners will not be able to go to the meter and physically turn off the water flow with the meters locked. The city has discouraged that anyway, she noted.

“If your water line breaks in the middle of the night, call 911,” Redshaw said. “We’ll get someone out of bed [to turn off the water.]”

Mayor Bo Prock asked aldermen Austin Hammen and Bobby Baker to develop a tree trimming strategy to prepare the town for the winter. Hammen reported they made a detailed list where trees hang over streets, stop signs and pole light, around two dozen different places and some entire blocks, such as Kay Avenue.

Prock praised the effort. Before the public works crew could begin, however, Redshaw said city workers would have to be available to flag utilities for the meter project. Dave Gatewood, public works foreman, added his crew would likely have to dig out meters as well.

Prock said he hoped tree trimming could start by Nov. 1. Timing of the Utility Services crew’s arrival could push work off to Jan. 1, 2018, he said.

Likewise, Alderman Brian Bowers reported on his survey of stormwater runoff problems in town. He identified several trouble spots, such as by First State Bank, where all the water from Kay Avenue runs, and the Ramey’s store, where water runs south from Jefferson and piles up due to ditches that no longer carry water away. Bowers suggested speaking to the Missouri Department of Transportation about having a maintenance crew cut ditches deeper along the state right of way.

Bowers further noted stormwater has drained across the school property and backing up by the recycling station. He observed Greenwood has a list of buried culverts that need excavation, possibly with a front or back-end loader with a bucket, reaching what a grader will not. There are other places, Alderman Scott Redshaw noted, like his house, where rain collects and does not move.

Prock said it appeared many of the stormwater problems would require more research. He suspected the Ramey’s problem would become its own project. He asked for division of the targeted areas into smaller, manageable pieces. Bowers added cleaning out the whistles under roads and driveways alone would offer significantly impact the problem.

One old problem that resurfaced for discussion was the city’s dog pound. Prock asked to have the site power-washed, noting the person currently responsible to watching the site has not had time to keep it clean.

It was pointed out that Department of Natural Resources’ requirements mandate having running water at the pound, which the city has never had. Greenwood said the city has been getting by refilling a five-gallon can there. Redshaw talked about securing a large plastic tank that could be hauled back and forth to town and refilled. Prock asked Greenwood for more ideas to help develop a manageable strategy.

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