Akeley concerned water tower could topple
Cold weather has made it crucial to keep the water level in Akeley's water tower stable, to prevent it from tipping over. City water and sewer supervisor Kelly VandenEykel told the council March 13 that he needs to be notified by the Eastern Hubb...
Cold weather has made it crucial to keep the water level in Akeley's water tower stable, to prevent it from tipping over.
City water and sewer supervisor Kelly VandenEykel told the council March 13 that he needs to be notified by the Eastern Hubbard County Fire Department any time there is a fire call, so he can increase the amount of water flowing into the tower.
"Our water tower, right now, is sitting with very little or no water to keep it from freezing," VandenEykel said. "I've told the fire department if there's a fire I need to know. Until tonight, I didn't know there had been a fire in town. I've told you guys again and again that in the winter when the tower level is down, if you start sucking from my tower you're going to screw me big time."
Council member Bobbie Wosika said that information has been shared with the fire board.
VandenEykel said a smartphone provided by the city gives him the ability to adjust the water level in the tower from anywhere that has internet service.
"All I need is a phone call and I can give those guys as much water as they need," he said.
"But if I don't get a call and the tower does have ice and you suck it down too low and that ice falls on one side, there's a very good possibility that tower is coming down."
Council member Billy Krotzer explained that because they are a volunteer fire department, the people going on calls don't all have the same level of experience.
"Some of the rookies might not have your number," he told VandenEykl. "The best thing to do is put you on our list and you'll be aware if every call if there us a fire and then you can respond appropriately."
Krotzer invited VandenEykel to the March 21 fire board meeting so he can be added to the list of fire notifications. "That way you'll know every call that comes through," he said.
Mayor Brian Hitchcock asked VandenEykel about fire hydrant access, noting it was brought to his attention one hydrant could not be found during a recent fire call because it was buried beneath the snow. "The next morning, they saw a little bit of the cap," he said.
"We've been cleaning out fire hydrants all winter off and on," VandenEykel replied, explaining that the fire hydrant in question is hard to get to because after you go down with the plow truck it is hard to get back up. "We've been trying to keep the main ones clear, but with all the snow this winter it's hard."
Hitchcock also asked about drains on the roads, noting the state cleared off the ones on the highway to improve water runoff before last Wednesday's heavy rain.
"I've been trying to knock them off," VandenEykel said. "I did get them open, and they are all draining at this point."