After years of brown water, Montgomery is closing in on a solution for village residents.
“This is the best way, the ultimate way,” said DPW Superintendent Buddy Nelson.
The village’s Holt Well has higher than average levels of manganese, sending discolored water into the homes on Water’s Edge, Weaver and River Streets.
A pilot test is currently underway to see if a filter is the answer. The water is run through media (sand) and the manganese is collected, leaving clearer water. The study is to determine how long the village can run the well before it starts to break through. Once the test is completed, their engineer will prepare a report to the Health Department which will comment or approve the installation.
The hope is that once the filter is installed, there will be very minimal levels of manganese in the water and no discoloration.
Nelson advised the village board at their meeting last week that they have another week of testing to go.
However, the filter is not a simple device like one that would be installed in a home.
Nelson explained after the meeting that it would require professional designs, a new building and piping. While the village would do as much work “in house” as possible, the project is anticipated to cost about $350,000.
The bill would be paid from the village water funds and may mean a bond and increase in village water rates, depending on how the village board decides to fund the undertaking.
According to Nelson, there is a two month wait once the filter is ordered, but if everything comes together it could be ordered as early as next month. The building and other parts of the project could be started at that time to get ready for the arrival of the filter.
Weather permitting, village residents could see clearer water in time for Christmas.
In the meantime, work is continuing on the replacement of the burst water main on Clinton Street. At the request of the contractor, the village board approved a three-day extension for the project at their meeting last week, pushing the expected completion date to Aug. 18.
During the public portion of that same meeting, village resident Don Berger questioned the board about discrepancies he had noticed in the year end actuals. He asserted that the village was under budget in some line items, but that surplus—tens of thousands of dollars—seemed to have evaporated.
“I’ve got to tell you, Steve…there’s a lot of oddities in the paperwork I have,” Berger said, addressing the mayor. “Where did that money go? It has to be somewhere.”
Trustee Walter Lindner offered to meet with Berger to explain the figures and Berger accepted.
“It’s not like it disappeared or went into some slush fund,” assured Mayor L. Stephen Brescia.
In other business, Trustee Mike Hembury noted that an individual has been going door-to-door, looking to list village homes for sale. He advised the realtor that a village ordinance requires him to first obtain a peddler’s permit at the village hall, for the safety of residents—which was confirmed by the village attorney at the board meeting.
By RACHEL COLEMAN