Hopes are high that drilling the city’s original well deeper will deliver 400 gallons a minute or more into Webb City’s water system.

Westhaven property joins Webb City's park system

Bob Foos

Webb City has a new park, now that the City Council on Monday approved acceptance of the deed for the Westhaven Country Club property on West Broadway.

The club was established on 1.18 acres in 1961 for the benefit of homeowners in the subdivision that replaced the golf course.

The swimming pool especially and the tennis courts haven’t been used as much in recent years. Taxes haven’t been paid for two years, and the property was on the Aug. 28 Jasper County Delinquent Tax Sale list.

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale said the city became interested in the property but didn’t know who to contact. It turned out that Ed Sumpter, a member of the Center Creek 201 Wastewater Treatment board of directors and former Westhaven resident, is the last living member of the club’s board of directors.

Sumpter was able to find the deed and sign it over to the city before the tax sale. Although the city will have to pay the county $1,085.67 to cover the back taxes.

The plan is to remove the swimming pool, which no longer holds water, and repair the tennis court and fence. Costs to do that are estimated to be minimal.

Tax levy remains the same

Following a public hearing at which nobody spoke, the council approved an ordinance on both readings to maintain the current municipal tax levy of $0.7049 per $100 assessed valuation.

Noting the city’s current (good) financial status, Jerry Fisher (3rd Ward) said it would be hard to increase the levy “with $12 million in the bank.

In other action:

• Rick Roth, street and water director, had good news about the effort to reactivate the water well beneath the large water tower on East Tracy Street. Harper Drilling is drilling the well deeper and has hit water. Once the casing has been installed, it will be determined if the capacity is worth installing a pump and well house in order to add it to the system. Roth said 400 to 500 gallons per minute would be great. He’s optimistic because the city’s newest well, on Homestead Drive, is pumping 400 gallons per minute, making it the best producing well in the system.

• The council approved an agreement with Olsson Engineering to help determine if 25 to 30% of the water being pumped throughout the system is actually being lost. That’s a lot more than the industry standard of 10%. Roth said his department has deployed leak detection equipment but hasn’t found any large leaks. If the study finds one fourth of the amount of pumped water is leaking somewhere before it is reaches meters, it will hopefully give a hint as to where to look for the leaks. The study will cost up to $8,500.

• A bid of $7,000 was accepted from Maguire Iron to repair a hole above the water line that’s been found on the main water tower.

• Police Chief Don Melton was given permission to let officers purchase the 27 Glock .40 caliber pistols that are being phased out.

Those Glocks are being replaced by 9 mm Glocks, which will be paid for with a grant from the Jasper County Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund.

Kiesler Police Supply has offered to buy the .40 caliber pistols for $245-$255.

However, Melton’s approved plan is to let officers buy the pistols they’ve been carrying on duty for $275. He told the council that all of the used pistols have been spoken for. The officers will also be allowed to purchase the department’s remaining .40 caliber ammunition.