Test Water Well Site May Have Been Found, Mayor Says

It will likely be 2014 before a test well can be drilled as part of an effort to find a new water well for the City of Elgin.
Meeting Monday night, the Elgin City Council was updated on progress being made on the matter. Mayor Mike Schmitt said he has met with Steve Niewohner concerning doing a test well on property he owns on the east side of town. The council was told that if the property in question would be suitable for a new water well site, an agreement could be reached for the acquisition of the property.
Don Poulsen, Jr., said it’s unlikely the test well can be drilled before the end of the year. He said the location of a new well must meet criteria established by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
A new water well must be drilled due to high arsenic levels in one of the city’s current wells.
In a related matter, the council approved filling out the necessary paperwork for the purpose of receiving funds which could pay a portion of the new well’s costs. The money would come from the the Nebraska Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) program which provides low interest loans and loan forgiveness to owners of public drinking water systems. Loan principal repayments go into new loans and interest earnings on the Fund is used 1) to pay off the state match bond issues and 2) to make new loans. It is administered by NDEQ and Nebraska Health & Human Services.
Later in the meeting, the council heard from Rev. Michael Davis regarding the community taking the necessary steps to become a member of Tree City USA.
“Personally, I’m really excited,” Davis said. “It’s something we could get done in 2014 and celebrate with the Q125 celebration.”
In order to qualify, the city must meet four criteria. They are:
1) Have a Tree Board of Department
2) A Tree Care Ordinance
3) A community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita
4) An Arbor Day observance and proclamation
City Clerk Vicki Miller said the city likely meets the criteria and will report back to the council at the next meeting.

For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review