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Albion to install new $700K deep water well

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE D0NAHEY The Albion water tower is pictured recently. The city council voted last week to construct a new Mississippian well to address water quality issues.

A need to have a second viable water source motivated Albion town councilors to vote 4-1 in favor of a resolution authorizing construction of a new well.

Estimated cost of the Mississippian well is $350,000 while the cost of filtration is an additional $350,000 and will be a necessary part of the system, Mayor John Henze said.

Henze said he was unsure how much it will increase Albion resident’s water bill.

“Water utility has to pay for itself,” he said.

Councilors Erik Erikson, Pat Hemming, Eric Schmidt and Kim Dostal voted yes while Jordan Hinkle voted no. The action was taken at a meeting earlier this month.

The mayor said the town is looking into state and federal grants to assist with the $700,000 expense.

“I cannot say yes we will get it, or no we will not,” Henze said. “I am hopeful.”

Region VI Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Marty Wymore said the town would have to take action to become eligible for a Community Development Block Grant.

“They were eligible for a CDBG grant on their water plant five or six years ago,” Wymore said. “I would think there is potential for Albion to qualify (for the new well project), but again, must take certain steps. Once they do take those steps I think their CDBG application would be competitive based on previous water issues … needing another source of water.”

The same resolution approving construction of a new well also overrode Henze’s veto of the well construction proposed at an April 16 meeting.

At the April 16 meeting, councilors had voted 3-2 in favor of a resolution to approve construction. Henze vetoed the resolution with a written message to the council at the time of the veto as required by Iowa code.

In re-passing the resolution, councilors said it was in the best interest of the town.

Erikson said at the meeting he supports Henze. However, he also said he supports fellow councilors.

Henze said the issue has been debated since the beginning of the year.

With 30 years experience in local government, Henze appears to have taken the veto override in stride.

“We are headed in a direction now,” he said.

The mayor said he and councilors have been working on the matter since January.

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Contact Mike Donahey at

641-753-6611 or

mdonahey@timesrepublican.com