For residents in Burton there may be light at the end of a very long tunnel, one that stretches a thousand feet into the ground. Since last summer residents have been hoping to reach the end of a Stage 5 water emergency, but that won’t happen until a new well is built to replace and old one that collapsed.
"We haven't watered since August of last year, said Lee Gilby. For Gilby the new city water well is coming too late.
"It is still frustrating,” said Gilby. Because he hasn't been able to turn on the water for such a long time he will have to replace several dead plants and even the irrigation system in his yard, costing him thousands.
"In the neighborhood of $3k-$5k to get it,” said Gilby.
Mayor Peggy Felder says the well is 75% complete, but not as soon as she had hoped. "Just takes a little bit of time to go through all of the government agencies,” said Felder.
Bureaucracy has delayed the process of replacing the old well. For the past 9 months the city has been relying on an old pump that can only do half the work meaning residents must continue to conserve, and pay the price with their yards.
"Everything is dead,” said Gilby.
Mayor Felder expects the stage 5 water emergency to be lifted by mid-August. A state grant totaling $250,000 and private donations are helping to pay for the new well. The City of Burton has released a water report informing residents of the well's progress. To read the report click on the link above the story.