City-wide water shutoff set for Friday
Monday shutoff limited to portions of Main Street
Jodi Summit

TOWER- The month-long cold wave has been wreaking havoc with water mains in Tower, and repairs scheduled for Friday, Jan. 10, will force the shutoff of water to all city customers beginning at 2 p.m.

Friday’s shutoff is needed to repair a break at St. Martin’s Catholic Church. The church’s water line does not have its own shut off valve, so the entire town’s water supply needs to be turned off in order to repair it. City officials say they expect the work to take about four hours.

The city has known about the missing shut off valve for several years, but installation of the valve was the responsibility of the property owner, not the city. A new shut off valve will be installed as part of the line repair.

The recent cold weather has caused other problems in Tower. Repairs on a frozen hydrant by Bauman’s Funeral Home will take place on Monday, Jan. 13 starting at 1 p.m. This repair will only affect the 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street, where businesses should expect their water to be shut off for approximately four hours. Businesses affected include the Tower Café, Frandsen Bank, Tower Car Wash, Jeanne’s Cards building including Boundary Waters Dog Grooming, Rick’s Relics, The Timberjay, and Sulu’s (which is closed on Mondays anyway). Vermilion Fuel and Food’s water line will not be affected, since it is piped in through the alley.

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1 comment on this item

I find it strange that the City's position is that the church is responsible for the shut off valve, commonly called a curb stop. Normal engineering procedure is to install a curb stop on every service line. This valve is normally located at the edge of the street right of way. The placement of this valve should have been part of the initial water system construction, and paid for by special assessment, grant or whatever.

The property owner is responsible for the water line from this valve to their house or business place. The City uses the curb stop to shut water off to the serviced property owner if the water bill isn't paid, or construction is underway on the lot.

What I suggest is that the church either already paid for a curb stop in an earlier assessment and didn't get one, or everyone in the initial construction contract was assessed less because the church didn't get one. In either case, the City should pay, not the church.

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