The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted a permit for the City of Smithville to install a temporary floating pump to support the multiport raw water intake operation at Center Hill Lake for the city's water supply.
Mayor Taft Hendrixson, during Monday night's city council meeting, read a letter dated November 20th from Michael T. Abernathy, Chief of the Real Estate Division. "This supplemental agreement grants the City of Smithville permission to add a temporary floating raw water intake to their existing facilities. The temporary raw water intake will encompass an additional 0.01 of an acre, more or less, of Tract H-803 within the confines of the Center Hill Lake Project. The system will not be installed unless the Center Hill Lake elevations approach levels that would prevent the removal of water via the existing intake. Current rehabilitation work at the Center Hill Dam may make this necessary."
Corps officials have said that the absolute minimum lake elevation which will allow the existing intake to function hydraulically is 618.0 Mean Sea Level (MSL). If the lake level were to fall below 618 (MSL), a floating pump most likely would be needed to support the intake operation.
Mayor Hendrixson says he is hopeful the floating pump won't be needed. "Hopefully, we won't have to do this. They (Corps Officials) don't know and I don't know. Hopefully, if we do (have to install the floating pump) they will give us ample time. We have sent off for some prices on proposals. We haven't asked for bids, just proposed prices on these pumps. They should be back in by December 18th. I will keep you (aldermen) informed on this. I believe the (lake level) was a little under 622 MSL today (Monday). If we start getting rains, we won't have to have it (floating pump). We have an idea it's going to cost somewhere around $100,000 for everything, which is not as bad as I thought it would be."