Neely reiterates desire to address water tank

Robert Smith
Dave Neely

Pawhuska City Manager Dave Neely said last week that he intended to follow through promptly with a request that the City Council approve repair work on the city’s 2-million-gallon water storage tank.

The city has been turned down the past two years, when seeking grant funds to do the water tank repairs, but Neely is of the view that the work needs to be done now.

“It will be cheaper now than it ever will be to have something done,” he told the Journal-Capital. The agenda for the council meeting Tuesday night of this week reflected Neely’s desire to have a discussion of possibly bidding out the tank rehab project. He anticipates it may cost about $450,000, which can be paid over the long term.

Neely also continues to be concerned about addressing problems with the dam at Lake Pawhuska. He suggested it might be necessary to lower the water to get a better idea of what needs to be done to the dam.

On the other hand, Neely described the streetscape project that has long been discussed for the downtown area as something that is on hold for the time being. He said that he is not sure where the money would come from for that work. He said the city is probably looking at $50,000 of expense per year over a 10-year period for the water tank project, as well as borrowing a sizeable chunk of money to repair the Lake Pawhuska dam.

“Every time I look at it, I’m seeing parking spaces deleted,” Neely said regarding the streetscape project. He said downtown Pawhuska needs more parking rather than less.

He also commented briefly on a downtown water-and-sewer line project that has been discussed off and on. Neely said if the city proceeds with that project at some point, it needs to be during cold weather when there’s not too much traffic.

“It’s still gonna hurt,” he said, talking about the disruption downtown that the work could cause.