By Jeremy Elrod
The Colbert City Council asked Chris Quigley of Peoples and Quigley Inc. Monday to discuss various options for fixing water quality problems in the city.
“The issue we’ve been having with our city’s water is completely unacceptable, and we’ve got to do a better job at fixing this problem,” said Mayor Chris Peck. “People couldn’t cook, clean, bathe or do anything else requiring water for nearly three days, and that’s just not fair to people who are paying for this service.”
Evelyn Power questioned the cause of the issue.
Peck said the fire department’s systematic and mandatory flushing of the hydrants initially caused the problem.
“The pressure from that process creates a vacuum, and stirs up any and all debris that may be residing in the pipe lines,” he said.
Bert Robinson, questioning Piedmont Water’s involvement, inquired about their responsibility regarding the matter.
“Is this not something we should take to Piedmont Water?” he asked.
Peck revealed the steps that had already been taken.
“I’ve contacted Piedmont Water about the issue and given them a list of individuals who need to be credited on their water bill, but they responded and said that we need to keep this only to the people who were severely impacted,” said Peck. “I then took a picture of the nasty water in my own house, and asked them what their definition of severely impacted was?”
Peck then introduced Quigley to the council.
“Somehow, someway, we’re going to find a way to fix these problems,” he said. “That’s why Mr. Quigley is here to give us some insight and information on how to possibly get a grant to fix our water system.”
Quigley revealed how his company could potentially be of service.
“We (Peoples and Quigley) help individuals like yourself put together engineering reports in an attempt to receive grants from the federal government for issues such as the one you’re currently faced with,” he said. “We recently helped Ila get an $800,000 grant, and have worked with numerous other cities on problems just like this one.”
Peck asked what would be required of the city.
“What exactly does it take on our part to do this report?” asked Peck.
Quigley listed what would be needed for its completion.
“The initial cost to do the report is $5,000, and we’ll want to include a list of everything you may want to do within the next 10 years to get the best result on the amount granted,” he said. “Then, if the project is chosen, the city will be granted a certain amount and expected to cover a portion of it. You never know what the percentage split will be though.”
Peck offered final thoughts on the matter.
“We’re not in the position to make that commitment tonight, but we’ll discuss everything and make a decision that will hopefully be in the best interest of the city. I don’t want to break the city, but I’m determined to find a solution.”
In other matters, the city council will begin taking bids to place gutters on the barbecue pit and old fire hall. A unanimous decision was made to accept Fortson Well’s bid of $22,150 for drilling a new city well. A bid for the GateWay Grant of $19,605 by Vista Concepts was unanimously accepted by the council. The job of patching roads and pavement around the city was awarded to All About Asphalt at a bid of $5,735. The council has decided to submit a request for proposals, asking for thoughts and ideas on what to do regarding the siding of the Depot. Also, Christmas in Colbert is scheduled for Dec. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the next meeting for the event will be held on Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.