Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Clay council votes to replace troublesome gas line crossing

J-E News Editor
Clay City Council met in a special called meeting last Tuesday night to approve a project to replace a portion of gas line that crosses Caney Creek near the town of Wheatcroft.

City employee Paul Stone first brought the crossing the attention of the council in September. The pipe, which has been in that location for years, crosses the creek about three foot above the creek bed. During strong rains, when the creek rises, the pipe is directly in the path of any objects floating down stream. The pipe is also set in concrete, which could eventually cause the pipe to fail.
“How long until it leaks, I don’t know,” said Stone. “But this is the only place in our entire gas system that worries me. If something happens there, the only place to shut the gas off is on the other side of Providence, which would shut the gas off to Providence, Clay, Wheatcroft and Sturgis.”
The city of Clay buys its gas from a substation on the southern side of Providence. From there Clay’s gas line follows the edge of Providence down Leeper Lane, through the Green Grove subdivision and Diamond and then on to Clay. From there that line heads to Wheatcroft and Sturgis.
Clay and Sturgis split the responsibility of maintaining the gas line, which would include all costs.
Initial estimates on redoing the crossing varied from just under $50,000 all the way up to $139,590.
“These are not bids, they are quotes,” stressed Mayor Rick Householder. Anytime a city government looks to spend more than $20,000 on a project, state law requires them to open the job for bids. “We are going to advertise for bids. These quotes just give us something to go on for now.”
The new gas line will be bored under the creek bed, keeping it out of the way of debris and vandals. Council members voted to move forward with the project, which is expected to get started by the middle of May.