Local News

Water Shortage Remains Serious

Russell City Council 2013The Russell City Council addressed the current water shortage and water restrictions in the city at its regular monthly work study session Tuesday afternoon - giving the situation a bleak outlook.

Councilman Chuck Bean, who has been spearheading the research into finding new water sources for Russell, gave a report toward the end of the meeting that basically, at least under the current conditions, shoots down any possibility of a lessening of the current Stage IV restrictions.

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Bean provided to the Council four pictures Tuesday that were taken near the location of the city's pumping substation in Big Creek southwest of Russell just a few days ago that visually show a disturbing trend. HERE is shown two of the pictures, the one on the left taken from a bridge dam immediately next to the aforementioned pumping station where water is freely flowing over it, and the one on the right is taken from another similar bridge dam just one mile east of the one on the left. HERE can be seen the same comparison from another angle.

However, Russell City Manager Jon Quinday did provide some good news on the topic of water. He says things are moving forward in the expansion of the Pfiefer well field - another source of water for Russell that's located southwest of the city. An agreement was reached late last year with a landowner near the well field for the city to use water from that landowners irrigation well. The agreement states the city will purchase the water - 62 acre-feet or 20 million gallons - each year.

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Russell Public Works Director Arlyn Unrein said the city hopes to be pumping water from that well by October 1.

2014 budget requests from several local organizations that are city funded were also heard at Tuesday's meeting, with many of them asking for the same amount of money they received in 2013.

A possible expansion of the St. John Lutheran Church and city cemeteries was also discussed.

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