Savings on roadwork will go toward new well, other projects

A $2.2 million savings on the Stewart Street expansion will allow the city to drill a new well and add additional street projects, officials say.

When Carson City officials first planned the project four years ago to extend Stewart Street to Roop Street, they allotted $5.2 million to complete it.

However, the economic downturn, along with decreasing gas prices, dropped that cost to $3.2 million, said City Manager Larry Werner.

"The bidding climate in the current economy is hugely beneficial for us," he said. "What we're going to be able to do is add a couple more projects that maybe we wouldn't have been able to do."

It doesn't just save money for roads, it saves money from the water, sewer and storm water budgets as well.

Ken Arnold, deputy public works director for Carson City, knows where a portion of the savings will go.

"It's going to allow us to go ahead and drill and develop a well we otherwise wouldn't be able to," Arnold said.

The well, the city's 33rd, will be on the south side, Arnold said.

"This appears to be a large producer for us," he said. "About 1,500 gallons a minute."

It will give the city a much-needed boost in water supply, he said, citing voluntary water usage cutbacks put into place last summer.

"It's definitely a benefit to the whole community," he said.

Initial drilling, Arnold said, shows the water to be high quality as well.

"Carson City has a lot of issues of uranium and arsenic in the water," he said. "This seems to be free of both, which is a wonderful thing."

Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger said he's not sure yet exactly which road projects would move up on the list.

"It's not going to change anything in the next two months," he said. "It will take us a little bit of time to relook at our budget numbers."

But he's eager to get started.

"Because the building climate is so good, we want to get the projects going and save the taxpayers money," Pittenger said.

- Contact reporter Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1272.

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