Neosho City Council last week approved the emergency replacement of a water valve, a move the city manager maintained spared shutting down a row of restaurants and other businesses for at least a day.

Neosho City Council last week approved the emergency replacement of a water valve, a move the city manager maintained spared shutting down a row of restaurants and other businesses for at least a day.

According to Troy Royer, city crews were charged with lowering a water main along Hill Street by Neosho High School to accommodate a storm drain being installed in association with a FEMA storm shelter under construction by Branco Enterprises at that location.

“When we started digging and messing with the line, the valve started leaking,” Royer reported.

When searching for parts, a supplier noted that a company it works with that has a drill-in tap system was working in nearby Nevada. It was a simpler fix, he said, because the company could “just drill into the pipe (and) drop a meter down in there; whereas, if we would have had to do it, we would actually have to shut the water line down, cut the pipe and put saddles in to get the valve in.”

The main supplies all water along Neosho Boulevard from South Street to Harmony. Without the special procedure, Royer said, the water would have had to been shut off along that stretch of the boulevard for at least a day.

“We just didn’t feel like that was a very good thing to do when we had a company that could come in and do it the very next morning (and) take care of it. It was about a third to a quarter of the cost of us doing it,” he said. “Plus, Branco was waiting for us to get that done so they could complete their work. Time was of the essence, and we wanted to be the least intrusive of businesses on the boulevard that depend on (water) to make their money.”

Royer noted that as some old water valves are replaced, new pressure on other older valves sometimes causes them to burst, requiring additional valve replacements.

Council approved payment of the $8,725 bill from Ferguson Enterprises.