During the cold stretch that brought subzero temperatures to the area, Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson said a single pipe broke in the house formerly known as the Kelley Estate. However, according to Everson, the burst pipe was discovered quickly so the crews were able to fix the problem.
The Parks and Recreation Department has been maintaining the property, including the now vacant home, on a daily basis since the city bought the 10,095-square-foot home in 2019 solely for the purchase of the 371-acre property near Lake Mitchell.
“We kept the temperature in the house a little warm enough because no one was occupying it, but cold air made it into a small part of the house through a small crack that has now been repaired,” Everson said in an interview with Mitchell Republic. “Fortunately, the pipe that broke was right next to a floor drain, so most of the water that came out of it drained away. We have someone go out there every day and check on the house, and the city crews found it the next day and turned off the water. “
Given that the crews discovered the problem within 24 hours of its occurrence, the repair work for Everson was “very minimal”. The repairs, which totaled around $ 8,500, consisted of replacing two floor tiles, repairing a small section of wall near the pipe, and drying and cleaning the area where water leaked.
While tile repairing and pipe repairing cost just under $ 1,000, the cleaning and drying phase was the most expensive part of the repair job, according to Everson. To clean and dry the area where the pipe burst occurred, Everson cost around $ 7,700 to clean carpets, according to Everson.
“The pipe was repaired immediately. There was no flooding, but part of a wall got a little wet from the break, ”said Everson. “We had a ceramic tile expert put the tiles back on, so it was done professionally. But the little area looks just as good as it did before the break, and the realtors are showing it again. “
Although the home is insured immediately, the cost of repairing that portion of the damage was too low to cover the deductible, Everson said. Therefore, the city will use emergency funds to pay for the repairs.
The city launched the $ 3.5 million home three months ago, including about 10 acres of surrounding land and the nearby multi-purpose shed. About a month after it went public, the city received its first offer, which was around $ 1 million, well below the $ 3.5 million price tag. Recently, Everson has indicated that more and more people are interested.
To avoid future problems, Mitchell’s city council approved updating the HVAC warning system in the house during Monday’s meeting. Everson said the HVAC warning system is “old” and needs to be updated. The new HVAC warning system will cost $ 19,000 to install and will be funded through the use of emergency funds.
“We want to update the control system now to prevent future pipe freezing,” said Everson.
When the city bought the home as part of the $ 4.1 million land purchase, the goal was to create wetland on the acres of land connected to Firesteel Creek. The wetland, which is currently under design, will act as a natural filtration system to collect the large amounts of phosphorus and sediment that flows through the creek into Lake Mitchell.
Previous studies of the lake have shown that 53 percent of the phosphorus entering the lake comes from Firesteel Creek, while 47 percent is in the lake itself. The phosphorus loads that flow from the stream into the lake contribute largely to the algal blooms every year. This is a major reason Mitchell City Council unanimously approved the land purchase.
Everson reiterated that the purchase of the home was not the intent of the $ 4.1 million property purchase. While Everson stressed that buying the home was not ideal, he said it was the only option for the city to purchase the land used to build the wetland along Firesteel Creek. The condition to buy the house was a condition set by the former homeowners.
“Everyone’s goal is for this beautiful property to be sold. This little problem will not affect its future sales, ”he said.