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NK plans repairs to water tanks

| Sunday, Dec. 5, 2004

NEW KENSINGTON -- Despite the possibility council might sell the city's water authority, the authority board is moving ahead with maintenance plans for the system.

Later this month, the board will award a contract for repairs to some of the system's water tanks, said Rich Lecocq, board chairman. Several of the tanks are rusting and require coating inside.

There are nine water tanks in the city in areas such as Mount Vernon, St. Mary's Cemetery and along Seventh Street.

Lecocq said the board wants to do the work because there is no telling if or when the system might be sold.

"We still have to push water through the pipes," he said. "We can't let the water quality slip."

Lecocq said authority officials have no idea how much the repair work will cost.

The board chairman said daily operations at the authority will be "business as usual" until board members decide its future.

Council is investigate a sale as a means of generating revenue for economic development and lowering taxes in New Kensington.

Council members previously said the investigation would be complete by the end of November, although Councilman Mike Langer said last week that the date has been pushed back.

Langer said council plans to schedule another public meeting, possibly within two weeks, to keep the community abreast of developments about the proposal.

The councilman said city officials expect the authority to keep current with system maintenance, and that the work has nothing to do with the proposed sale.

"Throughout this process, the city has expected that the authority continue to operate in the high quality fashion it always has," he said. "The city's investigation into the various scenarios should have no effect on the day-to-day operations of the water company."

Meantime, Lecocq said the work might not happen until warmer weather arrives. The authority discovered the needed maintenance when a private company was hired to inspect the tanks.

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