A historical prospective from 25 years ago Aug. 4, 1989

Aug. 4, 1989

City of St. Joseph issues watering ban

by Janelle Von Pinnon

The City of St. Joseph has imposed an odd-even watering ban effective now until further notice to relieve peak water usage demands by city residents.

Even-numbered houses may water on even days, odd-numbered houses may water on odd days.

“The city’s demand is larger than our water supply capability,” said Rachel Stapleton, city clerk. “If we had a larger water tower with a larger storage area, we might be able to catch up at night, but with a 50,000-gallon tower, it’s just not possible to keep up with demand.”

The average household, a three-person dwelling, uses approximately 250 gallons of water per day, Stapleton said. An average apartment dwelling uses 150 gallons per day. There are 600 connections to the St. Joseph water system.

“Right now, with school not on, we’re not full (in the apartment buildings),” Stapleton said. “That’s the only way we (St. Joseph) survive the summer. “Young people use more water than older people who are very conservative due to living during the Great Depression.”

An average daily water consumption figure for St. Joseph on any given day would be 221,000 gallons. On July 27 (1989), St. Joseph pumped 500,000 gallons of water that day to area residents, more than double an average day.

“That’s filling the water tower 10 times in one 24-hour period,” Stapleton said. “It’s just not set up to do that. We’re using water so fast the pump can hardly keep the lines full let alone try to store any in the tower.

“Restricting lawn water cuts the demand back to where it’s under control – to a manageable amount,” she said. “A certain amount of water must be stored in case of fire and to maintain water pressure for regular use. “The watering ban is for everyone’s good,” Stapleton continued. “We’re not trying to be mean to people. In the event of a fire, a water supply shortage could be critical. This is the latest we’ve imposed a summer watering ban, but it just hasn’t rained. When it is this hot, the electricity demand is also high so there’s potential for an inadequate power supply,” she concluded.

The city has applied for governmental funding to build a 500,000-gallon water tower in the near future.

contributed photo
Megan Henry, 3, daughter of Judy and Greg Henry, St. Joseph, quenches her thirst.


Aug. 4, 1989

Downtown beautification project seeks funds to being this autumn

by Janelle Von Pinnon

The recently proposed downtown beautification project in front of the St. Joseph Catholic Church along Minnesota Street from College Avenue W. to First Avenue NW. will begin this fall pending on the amount of funds available, said Dennis Stueve, project coordinator.

Nearly a month ago, the city council gave Stueve the go-ahead to pursue the project, but asked it be delayed until 1990. This would allow for the construction of the new, larger water main along Minnesota Street needed for the impending 500,000-gallon water tower. The city has applied for governmental funding and hopes to attain it by next summer.

Since then, the city has been informed that engineers prefer Minnesota Street be torn up closer to the north side for the water main installation. This leaves the south side available to follow through with the beautification project.

Stueve, who is working through the Chamber of Commerce, estimates the cost of the project to be $20,000 excluding the tree planter’s fees and the square sitting benches around the trees. Wally Honer will donate 16 maple trees which will be planted 26 feet apart.

The cost would include paving stones, edging and the sand for the base of the more than 6,500-square feet to be covered.

“Richmond, Minn., did a similar project in their town recently,” Stueve said. “We should get started sometime in September depending on how much funding is raised. I hope to finish this in time for the 1990 centennial.”

Clubs will be receiving an information letter soon in reference to the project asking for donations.

A beautification bank account has been set up through the Chamber of Commerce. Send donations to St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 696, St. Joseph, MN 56374.

photo by Janelle Von Pinnon
The facade of the city hall and police department building recently received a face-lift from plans drawn up by Bud Reber. A new flag pole was also donated by Reber. The St. Joseph VFW donated the new flag.

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Janelle Von Pinnon
Janelle Von Pinnon

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