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Council finds cheaper granite inlay installation for corners

Scott Stewart is fond of his extended family and neighbors but enough is enough, he politely informed the Park Rapids City Council Tuesday.

On Valentine's Day his family lost its water supply and began showering elsewhere.

Stewart called in a litany of city officials and contractors to the Seventh Street West location.

They examined, steamed, examined some more and made suggestions.

By Feb. 17, the family had run a hose to the neighbors and was running water to the laundry sink.

The next day the hose froze. Then it thawed. When water runs he fills the hot water heater and waits.

It's now been like that for a month. He's lost work time, paid contractors and still only has running water 10 percent of the time.

"I'd like to find a way to get this resolved not out of my pocket," he asked the council.

The neighborhood just had a sewer project run through. Now city officials speculate they will look to the contractor Sellin Brothers, to dig up the yard and fix the problem, likely a connection between the city's water main and the curb.

It seemed more than a frozen or clogged pipe, Stewart theorized.

Sometimes after construction, during the first frost cycle, the soil reverts to its native state, explained engineer Jon Olson.

"Over-compacted soils change the frost penetration," he said. "It's the air voids that create an insulating cycle."

"I think there's something in here we need to fix," said Public Works Superintendent Scott Burlingame.

Whatever the problem, the council authorized Sellin to replace the service to the Stewart home.

Stewart left the meeting still in good humor. But it will be awhile before he can stop bathing at his parents' home. And the city agreed to assist him with his out-of-pocket costs.

In other business, the council:

n Authorized awarding a bid for installation of downtown granite inlays to Northwoods Landscape & Recreation for $4,600, nearly half the highest bid of $8,000.

The 16 decorative inlays will be placed on corners along Main Avenue with imprints of surrounding lakes. The total for purchase and installation would be $49,060. Overall it will shave $3,400 from the total cost of highest bidder.

n Purchased a custom-made pumper truck for the Park Rapids Fire Department from a New Prague company for $379,983. The truck will be completed by Heiman Fire Equipment in 270 calendar days.

In doing so, the city rejected the low bidder because the truck wouldn't meet specifications on many levels. It's primary flaw was that it had a single stage pump, which chief Donn Hoffman said would not work as well as the three-stage pump Heiman bid that can spray high and low pressure foam.

"We need volume for water movement and pressure for fire attack lines," Hoffman reasoned.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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