Centerville plans extensive maintenance, safety upgrades and painting at its two water towers. Photo by Millicent Martin Emery

Centerville is about to begin extensive work to its water towers that could affect customers’ water pressure and require neighboring fire departments to bring tanker trucks.

Town Manager Kevin Slick told council at its May 28 work session that the routine maintenance, safety upgrades and painting are to begin the week of June 10. One tower will be drained and out of service for four to six weeks before the other is worked on.

The east tower will be drained first and needs the most expensive work.

Water will be tested before towers go back into service. 

Slick said some high-pressure areas might experience a pressure drop when Centerville is down to one tower.

The contractors will have one year to complete main and service line replacement. 

Centerville Fire/Rescue Chief Andy Aughe said the fire department has no concerns about the work and has made contingency plans. 

CFR is implementing an automated tanker response if it receives a call for a fire in town until both towers are up and running.  

CFR will ask area volunteer departments providing mutual aid to bring tanker trucks unless notified they’re not needed. Tankers can be filled from Indiana American Water hydrants. IAW will be notified to turn on extra pumps. Richmond does not have a tanker. 

Slick had to purchase a dechlorinating unit costing about $3,000 to protect the stream from the water being drained. It will be used for future hydrant flushes. 

While the tower is down, a pump needs to be rebuilt at Well No. 3. That’s expected to cost about $53,000. 

In other business

  • Centerville is applying for Indiana’s Community Crossings matching funds to pave Willow Grove from Main Street to McMinn Road or as far as funds allow. Town Manager Kevin Slick said the road has quite a few spots that aren’t going to get any better without further work. 
  • Council President Dan Wandersee, who serves as the town’s representative for Indiana Municipal Power Agency, distributed information about electricity trends. He said Texas’ daily demand for power has soared during a heat wave. 
    A Reuters article noted that analysts expect Texas’ energy use to top the all-time high because of economic and population growth and demand for power rising fast from data centers, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency mining. 
    Wandersee said if Centerville is as hot as predicted this summer, the area might have some brownouts.
  • Barring any final renovation challenges, council plans to conduct its 7 p.m. June 11 meeting in the new town hall just down the street from its current home. Residents should use the former bank’s rear entrance to access council chambers that night. Employees’ offices in the front likely won’t be finished then. 
  • After shopping for a new fire truck, CFR is trimming its wish list. Instead of a custom cab, which is expected to cost $850,000 to $920,000, CFR is seeking a commercial build, which could cut costs to $450,000 to $600,000. Station 2 would get the new truck. 
  • Bright new lights are to be operational soon at Centerville Youth League.
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A version of this article appeared in the June 5 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.