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Commissioners approve funds to repair pipeline

PHILIPSBURG - Let the project begin.

Philipsburg Mayor Daniel Reddish went before the Granite County Commissioners Tuesday to ask the county for $130,558 to repair a large section of the Fred Burr Pipeline. After nearly 30 minutes of debate, the commissioners approved the request.

"I just want to say 'Thank you'", said Carl Sansome, a citizen in attendance.

As outlined in Reddish's letter to the commissioners, the Fred Burr Pipeline stretches approximately 7.5miles, delivering potable water to the Town of Philipsburg. The pipeline is in excess of 60 years old in some sections. One specific section is 1,600 feet in length, is made of rolled pipe and located just below the old city of Granite that was likely installed in the 1930s. According to Reddish, this section is particularly precarious and could "... fall at any time."

On July 5, 2017, the Fred Burr Pipeline suffered a rupture that left the city in a dangerous water situation for nearly six hours. Crews were finally able to find and repair the breach, but not until the town's Public Works Department issued warnings to residents to severely cut their water use until the situation was under control.

During the discussion with Reddish, Commissioner Scott Adler questioned some of the line items in proposal. Adler was concerned over items such as an excavator rental and the purchase of a side-by-side for the project. Reddish assured commissioners Adler, Bill Slaughter and Bart Bonny that there would be inquiries made to get the best price on various materials and rentals. He also told the commissioners that the side-by-side's primary use would be to service the pipeline and for inspections.

While Slaughter basically managed the session, Bonney's main concern was that there be updates and an accurate accounting of the funds as they were being spent. Reddish assure the commissioners that that would be the case.

The Town of Drummond was also on the docket to appear for a similar request, but they have opted to put their project off until next spring. Drummond's request will focus more on its water tower and its need for upgrade to better service the town and the Valley Fire District.

NOTE - When the video of the meeting session is processed and loaded to our YouTube channel, we will make a link available to it here.

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