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Norfolk addresses issues with water system

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NORFOLK - The Norfolk Town Board has allocated approximately $96,000 set aside in a contingency fund for its ongoing water project.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in the first week of February, will have approximately $120,000 left in its contingency fund to account for unexpected costs.

Work started in September on a long-discussed, $2.55 million project for the town to meet state regulations for water quality. Crews have been been replacing wells for the municipal water system infiltrated with groundwater and the aging Raymondville water tank and will “loop” dead-end lines along Hepburn, Sober, Crabb and Hutchins streets. J.E. Sheehan Contracting Corp. is completing the bulk of the work.

The town has the option of utilizing everything in the contingency fund for infrastructure repairs, Supervisor Charles Pernice said. He noted town officials have a “wish list” of considered prpjects, including the construction of a fence around the Crabb Street water tower and repairs to its fire hydrants.

The town board approved three separate allocations, including $33,000 to reloop the lines between Wheeler and Crabb streets, a point of discussion at its last meeting in December.

“We want to entertain the motion but first we’re going to look at pricing,” Councilman Bob Harvey said previously.

The board also approved the allocation of $46,000 to install a new meter vaul, and $17,000 in additional electrical expenses, previously projected to cost $7,000 but turning out to cost $24,000.

As part of project, the town is replacing two well pumps that push water up into the Crabb Street water tower. One of the two current well pumps broke recently and last Thursday night the second one malfunctioned as well, leaving the town without any well pumps for a 24-hour period, Mr. Pernice said. This prevented the water tower from receiving water and caused very low water pressure in some homes lying in areas of high elevation.

Department of Public Works employees fixed the pump by about 10:30 p.m. Friday, Mr. Pernice said.

“It became an issue around the time we noticed it,” Mr. Pernice said. “(Department of Public Works employees) did a fantastic job (fixing it.) They worked hard and got the pump back online quickly.”

Mr. Pernice doesn’t expect the water pumps to be an issue after the water project is completed and the new pumps are installed. Mr. Harvey noted the project’s completion might be pushed back a week because of a delay in the acquisition of an electrical panel.

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