Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bellevue gets $200K water grant

City to spend additional $500,000 on line replacements

Express Staff Writer

An ongoing effort to replace Bellevue's aging water mains will continue this summer, thanks in part to a $200,000 Idaho Community Development Block Grant.

About $180,000 of the money will be used for engineering designs. About $20,000 will go to grant administration.

The city will add $500,000 to the grant money, bringing the total expenditures for this year's project to $700,000.

Work is scheduled to resume by Sept. 1.

The replacement of water mains installed in 1939 began three years ago, in part because the city had to increase the diameter of its water pipes to meet fire code requirements for water pressure at fire hydrants.

The city has also taken the opportunity to install water meters at homes to charge residents for the water based on actual use.

Mike Choate, of the firm Galena Engineering, has been retained by the city to oversee infrastructure projects. He said this summer's project would complete upgrades to about half the city's water mains.

"Any fire hydrant that is hooked to a 4-inch line is out of code," Choate said. "We are going to get the worst of them this year."

Hydrants will be installed on every other city block.

The grant will be administered by Jeff McCurdy, a planner for Region IV Development, a Twin Falls-based nonprofit corporation organized by regional elected officials. McCurdy told the Bellevue City Council on Feb. 24 that Bellevue was the 15th and last city on a list of 25 applicants to win the grants.

The city was hoping to win $500,000, but was given $200,000 instead, enough to move forward with engineering work.

McCurdy said that if the city had spent $7,000 to secure an engineer before applying for the grant, it likely would have received the entire $500,000.

In other Bellevue news:

( Bellevue won a $73,000 Previous Disaster Mitigation Grant from the Department of Homeland Security to work on bank restoration on the Big Wood River in Howard Preserve.

Tony Evans:

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