<center>Letters to the Editor</center>

Resident applauds city water crew

To the editor:

Over the past few weeks, the city of Williams Water Department has been taken to task for alleged over-billing and somewhat less than optimum customer relations. I also had billing questions when moving into my current residence just over a year ago and they were resolved amicably. A more recent occurrence shed some pretty bright rays on the Williams Water Department, as far as I am concerned.

On Feb. 11, I woke to discover there was no water supply in my house. A cursory check indicated only my immediate neighbor to the west was also without water. Since our meters shared the same below grade concrete box, the problem appeared to be no water flow into our two meters.

I called the city of Williams at 8:15 a.m. and 30 minutes later, a young man was on site using a heating torch in an attempt to thaw the frozen pipe leading to our two meters. After more than two hours on the heating torch, the main supply line remained frozen. By noon, there were four to five men working on the problem without success. A backhoe was necessary to dig up the pavement on Oak Street to gain access to the frozen section of pipe.

At around 3 p.m., the foreman advised the problem could not be solved that day, and that I was welcome to spend the night in a motel at city expense. I declined the offer for lodgings, stating all I needed was some water for basic functions. Within an hour, the foreman/supervisor and an assistant were at my front door with three cases (18 gallons) of Safeway drinking water. The crew returned the next morning and water was running at my house by 1 p.m. — some 29 hours after my call to the city.

I want to point out that “Mother Nature” was not all that cooperative throughout this undertaking. Morning temps were right around plus five degrees and the daytime temperatures remained below freezing. As a bonus, a gnarly “hawk” was blowing out of the north at more than 20 miles per hour all day Feb. 12. My “looky-see” visits that second day were virtually nonexistent. So rather than send up any sort of flak barrage, I would like to offer up some kudos and deep thanks to the men of the Williams Water Department who worked with diligence during some pretty tough conditions. You are appreciated.

Herbert F. Arnberger



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