The Benham City Council heard an update on the city water system’s status during a meeting on Thursday.
Water Plant Supervisor Tim Allison brought the panel up to speed on how things are going with the city’s water plant.
“Back in March, we discussed a few problems we had,” Allison said. “We have so far this year fixed about 30 leaks. Close to half of them in the last two weeks.”
Allison said the city’s water plant has gone from needing to run approximately 11 hours a day to doing the job in approximately six hours per day.
“We don’t have any main line problems,” Allison said. “The problem is this ¾ inch black plastic 200 psi (pipe). Under normal circumstances, it should be good for 50-75 years. But when they installed it, the plans called for gravel above and below it. (There’s) no gravel between Klutts and east Benham.”
According to Allison, the line has been in the ground for 38 years.
“That’s the only problem you’ve got as far as service lines,” said Allison. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s minor.”
Allison said the city needs to send somebody to check the lines once a month.
Later in the meeting, council member Patsy McKechnie addressed “Project Help,” a program she had suggested at a previous meeting designed to help raise money for the city through donations from residents.
“I’m still thinking about “Project Help,” said McKechnie. “I know this week has been pretty busy with property taxes and all, but I still feel like if we have a Project Help campaign – we have 320 inhabitants here – if each one when they got their utility bill would write in $2 for the project, that would be $640 that we could use to make things right. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I think it would work.”
McKechnie said she understands many people would not be happy with the idea of paying more money.
“It’s our town,” said McKechnie. “We have to help ourselves.”
She also suggested simply putting a jar in the city clerk’s office where people could donate if they wished.
Council member Howard White suggested sending out a letter to see how the city’s residents felt about the idea.
“This would be entirely for the upkeep of the town,” said McKechnie.
In other council activity, city clerk Jessica Smith advised the panel work on the old clinic building was continuing, with the next step being installment of new circuit breaker boxes.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde