KILLBUCK -- A crew from Columbia Gas addressed Killbuck Council on Monday, March 6, explaining the $2.7 million pipe replacement program going in the village.
Project Manager Shane Cardinal of Columbia Gas introduced his crew, which included the project engineer Chris Dennis, and workers who will be on site for possibly up to the next six months, Kelly Harrah and Keith McCurdy.
"We're here to replace the bare steel pipe that's probably been here since the 1930s with a modern, flexible plastic pipe," Cardinal said. "This metal pipe has been serviceable, but like most infrastructure, it is time to be replaced. This is a $2.7 million project, reaching about 280 customers in Killbuck."
He said if the meter is currently inside the home, it will be moved outside.
"The main thing we want to say about this is, typically this is all about efficiency, but you're already at intermediate pressure, I believe. The main focus will be on safety, which will be many." Cardinal added. "We're looking at increased safety, with features like an excess flow valve, a GPS feature that will help find leaks, with minimal mess. There is construction, so there will be dirt; trucks and inconvenience. But, where the village is so far, this will take down a lot of emergency calls.
Engineer Chris Dennis said that most projects aren't usually done to replace an entire village, but he believes there will be minimal service interruption.
Cardinal said residents should start seeing door hangers and work going on in town, locating sewers, stakes to flags on property lines.
"We're not going to sneak up on anyone," Cardinal said. "You'll see us coming towards your home. We'll be working on the mains first. You will have the new gas main and the old main in place, and they will methodically work towards bringing you service from the main to your homes."
He said they try and arrange appointments to work on conversions.
"We will have some flexibility because we're doing the whole town. We're going to be here awhile," Cardinal said. "If you're going to be gone for a few weeks, we can work around those things.
"The other thing I'll say, the village will not be on the hook for the $2.7 million," he continued. "You're already paying for these projects as part of your bill. The cost of the replacement is built in to what the customers have already paid."
A 20-year, $2.5 billion plan was put in place in 2008 to replace the infrastructure throughout the state, making it safe and serviceable.
"This investment will usually help with the tax base," Cardinal said. "In most cases, it usually goes through the county, and then down to fire stations, police stations, schools and libraries."
He wants this to be a good project that will benefit the village for years.
"We want to serve you well," he said. "We're in constant communication with (Street Commissioner Brian) Rippeth. He'll keep us going in the right places."
Construction will begin in the next few days, so six months is the projected time to complete the project.
Mayor Dennis Hahn asked what all the colors on steaks mean.
"We have to identify all the utility lines," Cardinal said. "Gas is yellow, electric is red, water is blue, green is the sewer and the pink marks are right of ways. Purple means phone lines and telecommunications. They all mean something.
"No matter what we do, we will talk with homeowners first," he added.
Council member Pat Mishler asked how long the gas will be off.
"When we come to your home, gas service will be interrupted for 2-3 hours tops," Cardinal said. "Probably won't even be off long enough for you to call in and notify us.
"It's going to be messy, it's going to be muddy, but hopefully in the end, it will be worth it," he added.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.