City officials recently authorized spending up to $50,000 to make emergency repairs to a damaged water distribution line.

The damage has been caused by leaks in the line, which runs under Bird Creek and delivers local water to the Nelagoney area, City Manager Mike McCartney said.

If the repairs are not made, the line could rupture. That would be even costlier for the city, McCartney said.

Voting as the Pawhuska Public Works Authority, City Council members approved funding the project at the Jan. 3 meeting. Funds for the repairs will come from the city’s emergency fund, officials said.

During the City Council portion of the meeting, members heard about the continuing growth of services at Pawhuska Hospital.

Hospital Administrator Godwin Fey reported that 541 inpatient days were logged at Pawhuska Hospital in October and November. That was compared to the total of 90 inpatient days recorded during those same two months in 2015.

Fey said the increased traffic tends to support the plan for constructing a new hospital building.