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Star Prairie studies options for replacing its well house

Star Prairie's well house was seriously damaged in a May 23 vehicular accident.

Damage to the Village of Star Prairie's well house building has the village considering its options and second guessing the installation of a second well.

On May 23, a man drove a pickup truck into the building when he failed to follow the curving road on Highway 65, according to the sheriff's report. Instead, the man drove straight and struck the building.

The original part of the well house building is still in good condition, said Greg Gibson, village president. It's the newer addition that suffered the most damage.

"It's going to cost more than $25,000 to make the repairs you want," said Jim DeBenedet of Stevens Engineers.

Luckily, the driver had insurance and the repairs should come at no cost to the village.

The building wasn't the only damage the village suffered as a result of the crash, DeBenedet said. The standby generator was totaled and now the village needs to find a replacement.

"A standby generator from Cummins is going to cost $2,000 a month for a rental," he said.

The board directed DeBenedet to price check generators at various businesses.

The crash also has village officials debating whether the community needs a second water well.

"We can only do what we can afford," Gibson said.

While that's true, there are grants available to help with the process and it really comes down to a public safety issue, DeBenedet said.

"I never would've been able to tell you someone was going to drive a pickup into the well house," he said.

If something should ever happen to the well -- the village's primary water source -- residents would be without water.

DeBenedet said he'd like to discuss the issue further with the public works committee before the village board considers it.

"This is a long-term commitment," he said. "Even if you decide to move forward, it'll still be two years before it's built because of the costs."

For the complete story, see this week's New Richmond News.