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Duluth looking to tackle expensive leaky-water-main problem

Fixing broken water mains is costing the city of Duluth a fortune every year, so the city’s mayor wants to pay up-front to resolve the problem, rather than continuing the slow drain on the city budget.
The Duluth News Tribune says Mayor Don Ness is

Fixing broken water mains is costing the city of Duluth a fortune every year, so the city’s mayor wants to pay up-front to resolve the problem, rather than continuing the slow drain on the city budget.

The Duluth News Tribune says Mayor Don Ness is vowing to take on the water pipes as well as pothole-filled streets.

“As a nation and as a community, we have bought into a convenient lie which promotes the idea that infrastructure does not require ongoing maintenance and investment,” said Ness at his State of the City speech Monday.

He said the city is fixing 140 water main breaks each year, at a cost of $2 million. That could increase in the next decade to 300 breaks a year, at a cost of $2 million,if they continue the piecemeal approach, he said.

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“In my mind, the equation is simple. We can either spend tax dollars on Band-Aid fixes or we can spend those dollars on permanent improvements that will prevent those breaks in the first place,” Ness said.

So he announced a year-long study of the best way to repair the overall system.

And for the pothole problem, the paper said he “plans to triple the number of miles of cracks that are sealed, using higher-quality materials and to have crews take time to tamp down all pothole patches.”