Water Department quickly repairs major water leak on Elm St.

Photo by Fran Malafronte

The street collapsed on Sunday due to heavy truck traffic. City crews turned off water services yesterday at 10:00 a.m. to repeait the leaking water lines.

Photos by Edna Clark

By Edna Clark

Van Horn City Council met in regular session with all aldermen present and with Mayor Pro Tem Pam Young presiding.

City Secretary Fran Malafronte presented a financial report and bills in the amount of $140,000 were approved for payment by Council.  Gas Department Manager, Edward Torres made Council aware of continued progress with isolating and repairing gas leaks inside the city limits.  In the Lobo areas, Torres stated that gas crews had canceled about 3 miles of leaking gas lines.  The Town of Van Horn is offering alternative energy sources to customers who are affected when gas lines are canceled.

Torres reported that he is also working with landowners in the Wild Horse area, to provide alternative fuels for them as well.  He also updated Council on progress at the upcoming sand plant located east of Van Horn.  The gas company has been busy installing gas lines in anticipation of full operation.

Water department employee Jamie Hudson advised Council that the shop water tank continues to leak, but remains operational.  Hudson and Ms. Malafronte presented Council with a video inside the South Water Well located at the airport.  Innumerable holes in the 900-foot water well pipe and pounds of gravel were evident in the video.  According to Hudson, the city has been advised that new casing be installed inside the existing well pipe in order to get the well operational.

Hudson requested, and Council approved purchasing a second motor for the Sierra Blanca water pump since recent lightning strikes ruined the existing motor.  Until the rebuilt motor is reinstalled, citizens of Sierra Blanca will have restricted water usage.

Electrical repairs to the Thrift Well were put to the test during recent storms and lightning strikes and it was found that more work is needed to ensure that the well resets itself after electrical surges or outages.  In years past, a lightning strike would have meant thousands of dollars in repair bills instead of the nuisance of having to turn power back on to the well.

Of major concern to the citizens of Van Horn is a large water leak on Elm Street adjacent to the westernmost railroad crossing.  On Sunday, the street collapsed due to dump trucks carrying heavy debris from the school demolition project that opted to cross on Elm, which is intended for light traffic only, instead of taking the commercial truck route on Highway 54.   City crews turned off water services yesterday, July 26 at 10:00 a.m. to repair the leaking water lines which have resulted in street closures.

Hudson related to Council that he had contacted the TCEQ to advise the agency that water service to the community will be turned off for a short time.  Due to the water interruption, the Town of Van Horn has issued a notice for boiling water until water samples are collected and submitted for testing.  Requirements for water boiling will be lifted once negative water sample results are received, which should be within two or three days.

Council then approved new billboard designs submitted by Lamar Advertising Company, and before adjourning expressed sincere appreciation to Torres, Hudson, and the City crews who have been working to repair the water and gas situations that have been cropping up lately.


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