Residents of the valley could be back on water and sewer service by the middle of next week.
Public Works director Alan Walter told members of the Minot City Council's Public Works and Safety Committee Wednesday that the city has been flushing lines and repairing lift stations and could have service to the flood zone by early to mid-week next week. However, service to particular areas will hinge on whether water line breaks force service to be shut down temporarily for more repair.
Walter said many of the repairs being made are temporary to get the system back in operation. Permanent fixes will come later.
"We are making good progress," he said. "The water treatment plant is up and running very well. We are producing eight million gallons a day."
The city is drawing about a million gallons a day from the Sundre Aquifer and 7 million gallons a day from the river. As more wells come back on line, the amount of river water will decline. Walter added, though, that the goal also is to increase production to 12 million gallons a day.
He added that the infrastructure will be in good shape by the end of September to handle Norsk Hstfest, which brings thousands of people to the State Fairgrounds.
Progress has been slower on dike removal because it is taking time to obtain the needed rights of entry from property owners, Walter said. The Corps is requiring all entry forms be signed before any work begins.
"Citizens need to know we need those signed so we can get this dike work started. I'm getting pretty frustrated. We've been at this two weeks and we haven't moved a spade of dirt," he said.
A waiver releasing the federal government from liability has caused residents to balk.
Walter said residents can work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and their home insurance to address any damages. If those sources don't cover losses, they should present their information to the city for consideration by the city's insurer.
Cindy Hemphill, finance director, said the city is working with its insurer already, having received claims from some residents with dikes on their houses.
Alderman Ron Boen also asked about lifting a moratorium on self wiring your own home. He noted at least one person received an electrical estimate four times the normal rate.
"The average person isn't going to try to do it. I am not asking this question for the average person. But there are people who can wire their own houses," he said. "To impose this moratorium on 4,500 homeowners, we are talking millions of dollars on people who are already at their knees."
One of the reasons for the moratorium is the lack of inspectors to sign off on electrical work, he said. A do-it-yourself project requires more inspection than a job done by a licensed electrician.
David Waind, city manager, said the city will look into the cost of adding extra inspectors before Monday's city council meeting.