The water issue - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

The water issue

STOCKTON, MN (KTTC-TV) -- There's another water issue the city has been keeping an eye on for some time. Should Stockton have city water?

Some residents are opposed to the idea and several special meetings have been held to voice concerns and answer questions.

It's a town were some residents are still struggling.

And many residents are wondering how much it will cost them to hook their house up to city water.

Bonnie Oldham says she wishes she just had a house. Where her home once stood is now a pile of dirt.

"Put sheetrock in, put new shingles and a roof on just before the flood came," says Oldham, a flood victim. "And all of a sudden the house just lifted and went as high as the flagpole. We were right even with it."

Bonnie Oldham, her husband Roger and her elderly mother rode the house they once called home down the creek.

"They said it was one in a million or less to get off that house alive. By law of averages it should have exploded," said Oldham.

Now she's experiencing a different type of ride, recovery something she says has been difficult.

"I'm tired, it's sad feeling now, I think I just realized what happened," said Oldham.

Stockton has been dealing with the issue of water since the flood but instead of too much water now, some want to bring in city water.

Those flood victims who are already financially strapped say they don't want to pay for yet another thing.

The city has received a $3.16 million dollar grant that would help pay for the project some say it's a gift the city should accept.

"Some of the pros, the benefit, of the project is that it's free money now. City growth, what do we want Stockton to be in five years, ten years, twenty years. Fire protection is a benefit that would impact lowered insurance rates," said Christopher Parker, who is running for mayor.

Though details haven't been ironed out yet, it looks like residents will have the option to hook up, but at a price tag of about $1,500.

And residents may still have to pay a small price per month if they don't hook up to the water.

Tonight in a three to two vote, the council voted to sign a contract for an engineer.

That engineer will study the city water project and then the council could decide to go on with the project after that.

However, the wrench in this whole equation is that the city is shelling out some major cash for this engineer, but with Election Day coming soon, there could be a new city council and mayor who could decide to ignore the grant and do away with the project entirely.

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