City to map water, sewer lines; initiates curfew

Posted 4/15/20

The Madisonville City Council agreed Monday to use new technology to map the city’s aging water and sewer lines, allowing maintenance workers to swiftly locate the source of leaks and stem them off without cutting water off to other areas.

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City to map water, sewer lines; initiates curfew

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The Madisonville City Council agreed Monday to use new technology to map the city’s aging water and sewer lines, allowing maintenance workers to swiftly locate the source of leaks and stem them off without cutting water off to other areas.

The contract with Indiana-based iamGIS Group, LLC will deploy Geospatial Information System software and services to map the lines under the city.

“This would eliminate all the guesswork,” Public Works Director Kevin Story told council members Monday. “I can’t say everyone is going to have water when we have a leak, but it will be a lot better.”

Currently, to repair a leak in city lines, pressure is taken off by opening fire hydrants, potentially reducing water pressure throughout the city. After mapping the lines, when a leak is detected, workers can close a nearby shut-off valve, which will allow quicker access to the damaged line, as well as reducing the impact of lost water pressure.

The three year contract will cost $9,000 per year.

Madisonville City Council, like most other government entities during social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, was conducted mainly online, with council members and other essential city officials carefully spaced apart.

As part of the same anti-virus efforts, council members voted to adopt its own curfew, from midnight to 5 a.m. each day, beginning immediately. Madison County Judge Tony Leago had already ordered a county-wide daily curfew from 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. earlier on Monday.

Madisonville Police Chief Herbert Gilbert told the council that the additional curfew will help police officers better battle crime during the crisis that has led to isolation measures. Officers will be allowed to question anyone seen outside to determine if they are on essential business, and possibly aid in the apprehension of suspects from other late-night criminal activity.

“We’ve had a couple of burglaries (since stay at home orders began,” Gilbert said. “On the crime side of it, this will give our officers probable cause (to question suspects).”

Probable cause is the constitutional requirement for obtaining an arrest warrant or search warrant. Violation of the curfew order would establish a reason for deeper questioning.

“This is temporary,” City Manager Camilla Viator told the Council. “It’s not forever.”

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