Sioux City budget negotiations focus on recent water main breaks - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City budget negotiations focus on recent water main breaks

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- Sioux City's public works department is calling for an increase in funding to help curb the large number of water main breaks we've had this winter.

This comes after a massive water main break forced 94 students from their dorm at Briar Cliff University on Sunday.

Those debating the numbers in the City's budget are working to prevent problems like these in the future.

"We've got a replacement cycle that's about 180 years long right now. Typically, you'd want to see about a 90 year replacement," Jade Dundas, Public Works Director said.

So old, in fact, Dundas is calling for a $125,000 increase to their materials budget for the 2015 fiscal year. 

He says preventative work on the city's water pipes could curb the large number of water breaks the city has experienced this winter.

"We want to try to make as many repairs as we can, as many replacements that we can to try to help with the age of the service. That way we have less emergencies, and less people unexpectedly out of water," Dundas said.

One of the city's latest water emergencies ousted 94 students from their rooms on the campus of Briar Cliff University, canceling classes for two days. 39 of the students in Baxter-Di Giovanni Hall's suite style rooms were housed at West Middle School Sunday night, and 25 of them were housed at the American Red Cross shelter on Monday night.

"There was a significant amount of stress, because we wanted this to be resolved as quickly as possible,"  Bev Wharton, President of Briar Cliff University said.

Workers on the Briar Cliff main break still haven't located the original source of the water pipe burst, but broke the main at another spot so that water and steam heat could be returned to the other buildings on campus. 

"We are moving to the point where we can come back to, what we would like to say, a level of normalcy. As I mentioned yesterday, we are incredibly grateful for the support that we've received from the community," Wharton said.

As those displaced students work on moving back in, and Sioux City's city council works on setting a budget, one thing everyone says they can agree on is that life would be much easier if the water main breaks would stop.

The city has repaired 38 breaks since January 1.

That includes two breaks on Monday night and Tuesday morning, leaving seven properties near 24th and Douglas without water.

Classes at Briar Cliff will resume as usual tomorrow morning.

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