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Dateline Dixon: City averaging water main break every 2 days

City Hall has new microphones

DIXON – This winter hasn’t been easy on road salt supplies or streets, as I wrote about in Wednesday’s edition.

You can add Dixon’s water mains to that, as well.

Rusty Cox, the water department’s superintendant, said Dixon has averaged a water main break every other day during the winter, which is a higher rate than usual.

Water mains are also breaking more often than usual in Sterling and Rock Falls.

Normally, a few water main breaks happen in the early fall and then the rate slows until the spring thaw, Cox said on Wednesday, but this year it has been consistent through December, January and into February.

The deep frost line, which Cox said his crews have found at 5 feet deep at one point, is creating problems.

Additionally, the frost heave that creates bumps in the roads – which can feel like road waves – also creates problems for water mains, as that pressure pushing up on the road also pushes down, toward the city’s water infrastructure, Cox said. 

City Hall notes

The council chambers at City Hall are much louder now that new microphones for the City Council have been installed.

The council had been without working microphones and speaker system for a few weeks, during which the members would pass a single microphone when needed.

On Tuesday night, the City Council went into closed session to discuss, among other items, whether to release closed session minutes from after the arrest of former Comptroller Rita Crundwell.

It was the third time since Jan. 21 that the City Council has discussed those minutes in closed session. The decision to release those minutes would have to be brought to the council as an action item on a meeting agenda.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

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