The Richmond Water Fund received some relief Wednesday night when the Henrietta Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to move forward with purchasing their water supply from Richmond.
The board has been exploring water options for several months now. The board ruled out Ray County Water District No. 2 when it was discovered that miles of waterline would have to be installed at a cost of more than $120,000.
An official deal will not be worked out for a couple of months, but Richmond City Administrator Rick Childers said a temporary agreement could be worked out if water has to be supplied sooner.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has mandated that Henrietta have divers inspect their tower and have it painted. Painting is expected to cost about $35,000. Childers said Richmond could supply water while the tower is down, but time is running out to paint the tower by the Dec. 31 deadline that DNR has mandated.
City Clerk Margie Long said she would contact DNR to see if the city can get an extension now that a verbal agreement is in place with Richmond to supply the water.
“I’m afraid if the whole town is down we would have issues with DNR,” Long said. None of us want to spend the $35,000 ,but DNR has kind of tied our hands here.”
The possibility was discussed about bypassing the water tower all together, but was not a popular idea. Alderman Harlan Calvert said that if Richmond had a problem getting water to Henrietta, the city would have real problems with DNR if water supply were cut off. He said he is in favor of keeping the tower.
“If they got shut down for some reason we wouldn’t have any water,” Calvert said.
Childers told the board that they might want to consider keep ing their plant operational in case of a problem or a leak.
Mid America Regional Council Representative Molly McGovern was also in attendance and said she would begin the process of filing paperwork with the Missouri Water and Wastewater Review Committee for grants to replace waterlines. McGovern said the city’s water rates are close to target rates that grant administrators like to see on applications.
The board also authorized the city of Richmond to begin performing improvements to hook Henrietta onto the city of Richmond’s water system. Alderman Bob Duncan said the parts would cost about $1,500.
Duncan said that Henrietta would need about 50,000 gallons a day on average when Richmond begins supplying water. Richmond’s rate is half of the residential rate plus 50 cents, or $4.71 per thousand gallons.
The board will also attend the next Richmond City Council meeting to discuss changing the sewer rates to a bulk rate like the water. That meeting is Oct. 8.