Downtown Beatrice water main replacement could be added to loan fund

BEATRICE – Use of a revolving loan fund through a state agency could allow the City of Beatrice to accomplish a long-term need…..replacing old water mains in the downtown area.

"They've been on our replacement schedule for years. So, we're looking to move those projects up into this funding source, here, in the downtown. Some are along Court Street from Fourth to Sixteenth. Others run down Third Street....Second Street there's a few of those in there we need to replace. So, those are the other projects we've identified at this point."

The city has applied for $7.5 million in state funding at zero percent interest, through the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy. If received, the funds could be used to secure additional property for a new well field northwest of the city. Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says some testing for water quantity and quality is underway.

"We've had the first round of test wells done and test results are coming back favorably, so it's looking positive for us, there."

The funds could also provide back-up generators to be used with the city’s in-town underground reservoirs. A second transmission feed from the wellfield area is also a possibility. But, officials say a new distribution line to an area at the south edge of the city is not eligible under terms of the revolving loan program.
Monday night, the Beatrice City Council held a public hearing on the loan application. No public comment was given. The loan funds have a payback period of up to 30 years.

Some of the water mains that have been replaced in the downtown were over 100 years old. Others yet to be replaced are over 70 years old. Projects have been pushed back previously, for lack of funding.

In other action Monday night, Beatrice elected officials approved a five-year contract between Midwest Area Refuse Solutions…the city-run garbage hauling service, and the village of Western… provide the Saline County town with garbage service.