Westgate utilities repaired

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Almost all of the damage to utility lines that occurred when a portion of the ground behind Westgate Plaza just dropped several feet on Sat., Aug. 17, has been repaired, Andalusia Utilities Board members were told Tuesday.

Mayor Earl Johnson said it has not been determined what caused the shift.

“The reports we got then on that, were it could have been this, or could have been that.” Johnson said.

City employees have been working since Aug. 17 to repair the damages to utility lines on an easement behind the property, he said.

“What we’ve been able to do is to go in there with our own folks, on our own time and with our own equipment and fix it,” he said.

There was a leak in the water line, he said.

Johnson said he has received a number of phone calls questioning whether the city was working on private property.

“That’s a crock,” the mayor said. “That is our equipment. That is our infrastructure, on our easement. We have easements that go across private property all over this city.”

Johnson said

We have the city’s insurance company has been notified.

“They have looked at it,” he said. “But they are going to say your equipment was leaking.”

Micah Blair, who is acting head of the water and sewerage department, said the terra cotta water pipe has been replaced with a cast iron one.

“Everybody has gotten normal service back,” he said.

In other business, the board extended its 90-day contract with Clearwater Solutions, LLC for another 30 days.

The board contracted with Clearwater after a criminal investigation led to the terminations of the department head and assistant department head for water and sewer, and the suspension without pay of a third employee.

“We needed their expertise at that time, and they were a tremendous help with the issue at Westgate,” Johnson said.