ST. FRANCISVILLE — The St. Francisville Board of Aldermen on Tuesday authorized emergency repair work in hopes of salvaging the town’s Prosperity Street water well.
A small hole in the well’s casing is roughly 1,300 feet below the surface and was discovered when a camera was inserted by a work crew.
The board accepted the recommendation of consultant Bianca Hillhouse, of Professional Engineering Consultants, to hire Griner Drilling Service to attempt a somewhat risky procedure to patch the casing in the well at a cost of almost $8,500.
The other option would be to cap the well and drill an entirely new one either in the general vicinity of the well or perhaps somewhere else in town at a minimum cost of $375,000. The town operates two other wells that supply more than enough water. The damaged well is a backup.
“You can’t run the well today,” Hillhouse said. “If this procedure works, the best-case scenario is it only costs you $8,480 and you have a functioning well. Worst-case scenario, the well collapses and is not usable and you have to cap it and build a new one right next to it and you could reuse some of the well’s equipment.”
Hillhouse estimates that if the repair is successful, it could extend the life of the well, which is more than 50 years old, by as much as 20 more years.
Mayor Billy D’Aquilla said although the repair is a gamble, it’s the best option at this point.
“Let’s get this well back on line then go for a new well,” D’Aquilla said. He said the town could fund it through grants.
Hillhouse also said the town soon will receive a $375,000 capital outlay from the state to be used for water system improvements and perhaps that money could be used to help fund construction of a new well.
The board also agreed to introduce an ordinance at the Sept. 15 meeting that will cover the operation of food trucks. In addition, the board also will consider spending up to $35,000 to restore the caboose on Ferdinand Street.