City Council approves nearly a million dollars for water main repairs

Kodiak City Council approved $950,000 at an emergency meeting last week to pay for a water main break downtown on November 3 on the corner of Mill Bay Rd and Kashevaroff St. 

The line was breached by a subcontractor hired by telecommunications provider GCI called Utilities Technology Incorporated. 

Crews had to dig up roads to make the repairs to the water main (Courtesy of City of Kodiak)

City staff said in a report to the Council the contractor was drilling underneath roads for a previously approved project to dig tunnels for fiber optic cables. 

Matt Holmstrom is the city engineer. He said their drill was about five feet deeper

“They ended up, I heard, seven and a half feet deep is where the water line was,” he said. “So they should have been closer to two feet instead of seven feet.” 

The break led to a boil water notice for residents and businesses downtown as well as discolored water in nearby homes. The boil water notice was lifted after three days.

The city has worked with Brechan Construction since then to patch the water main and affected roads. 

Councilmembers unanimously voted to set aside nearly a million dollars for both the patch and future construction. Brechan was paid $209,655 from the funds for the immediate patch to last the winter, however repairs in the spring are estimated to cost hundreds of thousands more. 

Holmstrom said the city is fronting the bill right now, but they expect insurance to accept their claims and work it out with GCI and their subcontractor. 

“We did not damage the water line, so I don’t understand how we’d be responsible,” he said.

The city’s water utility fund will make up $665,000 of the necessary funds, and the Council also allocated another $285,000 from the city’s general fund balance.

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