By Tim Leeds
Testing is under way on the new section of the Havre water treatment plant, and it's going well enough that the city ended its watering ban a day earlier than expected.
"When you're making water it's got to go somewhere," plant superintendent Jeff Jensen said.
Meanwhile, city officials began talks Wednesday with Williams Bros. Construction about whether the contractor can meet the Oct. 31 deadline for completing the project.
City officials have said they are concerned because Williams Bros.' missed a July 31 deadline for finishing work on the new section, after getting a nine-month extension.
Havre Mayor Bob Rice said today the question was not fully answered. The company's representatives said it could finish on time, but the city wasn't so sure, Rice said.
"They took their crew back to Spokane and were going to call us," he said.
Brian Lilletvedt, an attorney for the city, said the purpose of the meeting was to find ways to complete the project on time, and the city and Williams Bros. are in the process of finalizing those discussions.
"I think it was a positive meeting. Each side is interested in seeing the project completed," he said.
John Williams, president of Williams Bros., was not available for comment this morning.
The city had banned outdoor water use until tonight while the new section was tested, but lifted the ban Wednesday afternoon. Other restrictions on days and hours for watering still apply.
Jensen said fixes and adjusments are being done as the testing on the new plant proceeds.
"We're still working out kinks and bugs. That's where we're at," he said.
Major work on the old section will begin once testing is completed on the new section.
The new section of the plant is part of a $6.7 million upgrade to the plant.