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Some North End residents have no water due to water main break; do city leaders care?

MASON CITY – City hall recently made it clear that water mains are the city’s problem and private water lines are the responsibility of the property owner.

At the 1700-1800 blocks of North Penn, an on-going problem with a broken water main that has plagued residents there for days is finally getting attention from city hall.

NIT reported on February 21st that residents in that North End area have expressed frustration with city hall for not helping them sooner. Some of those residents last had water weeks ago.

A desperate mom told NIT on February 19th that the city “could at least supply us with drums of water to flush our toilets. I still have one minor child in the house. I called the Water Company today because I know the weather is supposed to get bad again. If I knew I was on some kind of waiting list, that there are others ahead of me, that don’t have water, it would be a different story, but all they say is it will be at least a couple more days. I said, ‘can you give me a day when your going to be here?’ He said, ‘You will know when we are there.’ I said that wasn’t my question I wanna know when you’re going to address this issue. He said, “It will be at least a couple more days.’”

As of Friday, February 21st, the mom still had no water at her home, she reported to NIT. They were getting by as best they could.

According to city hall, on Wednesday, February 29th, “the City Utility Division is working to repair a frozen/broken water main on North Pennsylvania Avenue. North Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed between 17th and 18th Streets NE until the repairs can be made.”

City hall said on February 20th:

Whose responsibility is it to re-establish a frozen water service line?
It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain their service line; the service line extends from the city water main to the water meter. In most cases, the problem with freezing occurs in the private service line, however if the city water main freezes it is the responsibility of the city to restore water service in the main.

Email from NIT Publisher Matt Marquardt to elected city leaders:

from: Matt Marquardt
Council Member John Lee <>,
Council Member Janet Solberg <>,
Council Member Jean Marinos <>,
Council Member Scott Tornquist <>,
Council Member Travis Hickey <>,
Brent Trout <>
date: Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 1:15 PM
subject: No water on North End

Does Eric Bookmeyer care about the average Mason City citizen?
Does Eric Bookmeyer care about the average Mason City citizen?

Do the elected city leaders of Mason City care that some residents in the 1700-1800 block of North Penn have had no water for days, some since mid-February, due to a water main break there? You sent a notification on February 20th to citizens that water mains are the responsibility of the city. Why have you waited this long to make a real effort to repair the problem? NIT was contacted on Feb. 19th about this. It is now at least 10 days later, and the problem was on-going prior to that. Do you care about all the citizens of Mason City, or just a select few?

Matt Marquardt, NIT Publisher

18th St. NE closed, back in med-February
18th St. NE closed, back in med-February
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