Water should return to 36 households in Lynn Center again on Saturday after a railroad company and the local water association reached a compromise on a $10 million question.
Last Sunday, a broken water main under BNSF railroad tracks that run through Lynn Center cut off water to all but six households in the Henry County village about three miles west of Andover.
The Lynn Center Water Association, a private corporation in which locals hold shares, moved quickly to restore the water supply.
But BNSF officials said the association would need $10 million in liability insurance before it could allow repairs to the busted main on the company's property.
Kathy Etheridge, who volunteers for the association with her husband Stuart, said insurance companies were unwilling to cover the association, which pumps water from an underground well, because of its small size.
BNSF officials at the company's headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, had difficulty understanding the water association's problems with the insurance companies, Ms. Etheridge said.
"The railroad people were not being deliberately mean in fact they were very patient," she said. "It's just very difficult for big city people to understand what a little tiny burg this is."
In the end, BNSF agreed to waive the $10 million rule and to leave the insurance question unanswered until a later date after water is restored.
Amy McBeth, a BNSF spokeswoman, said the company reached a compromise on the insurance requirement -- a rule she said is in place to protect all parties -- because of the water emergency.
Brandt Construction of Milan had arrived on the scene last Monday, Ms. Etheridge said, but could not start digging without the BNSF's permission. A water main also had to be ordered from St. Louis to replace the broken section.
Machinery was in place by the end of the week and digging was due to start Friday with the water expected to be restored by Saturday.
Lynn Center Township Supervisor Sheldon Larson was one of the residents forced to go without running water. He had to fill buckets of water and take them home, like the other villagers.
"It's a little inconvenient but this builds a deep appreciation for something you normally take for granted," he said.
The broken water main was likely installed in 1957, Ms. Etheridge said. Most of the water mains in the village were replaced in 2009, she added, but at that time the association discovered the insurance requirement and could not replace the section that runs under the BNSF tracks.
"We knew there was a nightmare out there waiting to haunt us," Ms. Etheridge said.
Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.