Luverne, Minnesota — The thirteenth member system to be connected to the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System has begun receiving water, with seven more to go.
Luverne, Minnesota now has access to 821,000 gallons a day from the system with the opportunity to secure more capacity in the future.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday, March 14th in Luverne. State legislators, city officials and representatives from some of the other member cities and rural water systems attended. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was to be there, but Monday’s fog prevented his plane from flying.
Red Arndt of Luverne, Chairman of the Lewis & Clark board of directors, is the only remaining board member from the project’s incorporation in 1990. He was presented with a bottle containing the first potable water to come through the faucet of the system’s meter house in Luverne. Arndt took a big swig and said “Tastes great! I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time – for the last 26 years – and here it is.”
Still waiting to receive their first water are the water systems of Hull, Sioux Center, Sheldon, Sibley, Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water, Worthington, and Madison. The system has been waiting for the federal government to fund their share of the project for several years, which has made for several years of slow to no construction on the system.
Ribbon Cutting Photo (left to right): L&C Vice-Chairman Murray Hulstein of Sioux Center, Luverne City Administrator John Call, Luverne Councilwoman Caroline Thorson, State Rep. Joe Schomacker, Luverne Councilwoman Esther Spease Frakes, Banner Associate’s Dave Odens, L&C Chairman Red Arndt, Luverne Councilman Kevin Aaker, Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian, Worthington Public Utilities Manager and L&C director Scott Hain, Luverne Councilman Eugene Marshall, State Senator Bill Weber, Banner Associate’s Tim Conner, Luverne Water/Wastewater Supervisor Al Lais and L&C Executive Director Troy Larson.