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Houston Maintanence Department advises on frozen pipes


By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014
Posted in All Government

The Houston City Council held a meeting on February 10. The topic that was at the forefront of the meeting was addressing the issues Houston residents have been having with frozen pipes.

The Maintenance Department has been kept busy trying to resolve the issue.

For residents who have not experienced frozen pipes, Superintendent of the Maintenance Department, Randy Thesing, recommended that residents keep a faucet running constantly with a pencil sized stream of cold water. He also recommended monitoring the water temperature, allowing it to run for five minutes before doing so. If the water temperature is 40 degrees or above, the water pipes are not in danger; however, water temperatures can change from day to day, so checking it daily is the key.

In an effort to aid the Houston residents, the council approved that up to 35,000 gallons of water above the resident’s average intake will be forgiven on their water bill. Those who want to take advantage of this aid should call the City Office and get on their list to ensure an accurate water bill.

Thesing also advised residents to continue to run their water until further notice. Even with warmer temperatures there is still a danger of pipes freezing. As a thaw comes in the frost makes its way deeper into the ground, which can result in frozen pipes. Thesing said this could possibly be an issue for the next three months.

Randy Thesing also presented the council with bids for a new small plow truck. The truck being replaced is 22 years old, with rust holes in the box. The total cost of the replacement is $54,949. This includes everything needed in the truck and all necessary upgrades. The council approved a transfer of $35,000 from the General Fund to the Vehicle Fund to purchase the truck.

At the meeting Nature Center Director Karla Bloem requested that the council approve her to spend more of her work week on the Owl Center project in hopes to keep up with the momentum the program has gained. Bloem will be applying for grants which could potentially pay for the first couple years of salary for a Director of the Owl Center. If the Owl Center is able to obtain adequate funding, they may be able to hire Bloem full-time or propose a cost-share arrangement with the city. The council approved Bloem’s request.

The council also approved a gambling permit for the Valley View Foundation and approved to extend the current contract the city has with Waste Management for another three years.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 10.

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