Thursday, February 22nd, 2007
By Timothy Cox
First water freezes up, then no gas
  Celina city water crews ran into serious problems while trying to help a resident with frozen water pipes on South Ash Street this week.
While working on the problem, a piece of machinery ruptured a natural gas line, forcing a response from Dominion East Ohio and temporary closure of the street.
Todd Hone, an assistant operator at the water plant, said crews responded to some type of frozen pipes complaint in the neighborhood, but did not know the exact nature of the problem. Water Superintendent Mike Sudman was out of the office and unavailable for comment Wednesday and today.
A relative of the affected residents on Ash Street said the home had been without water service for 11 days. City officials could not confirm that.
"If there is any problem in the distribution system, people need to let us know; we'll make up a work order and check it out," Hone said.
The city is not responsible for frozen water pipes or other problems located on private property, Hone said. The city does accept maintenance responsibility for the stretch of water line between residential water meters and the tap-in to the water main, he said.
Although the strong odor of natural gas was present Tuesday, the neighborhood was not evacuated and Dominion eventually made the necessary repairs.
Even though the gas line was struck by city-operated equipment, city officials say they are not responsible for the damage. The placement of the gas line was improperly marked, Hone said.
City leaders have gone out of their way in recent years to avoid cutting into newly installed pavement. Water lines and the Dominion gas line underneath Ash Street were replaced when the street was completely rebuilt a couple of years ago.  
The reconstruction of parts of Ash and Logan cost $810,000, including the rebuilding of the street surface on Ash from Market to Logan and on the single block of Logan Street that runs between Ash and Main streets. The (Continued from page 1A)

Ohio Department of Trans portation contributed $550,000 toward the work and Issue II money provided another $220,000. The city spent $40,000 in general fund money designing the project.
Furthermore, city officials crafted an ordinance that requires public or private utilities that dig into the street to pay a fee for doing so. It remains unclear who will be billed for the cuts into the pavement to repair the water and gas lines.
Safety-Service Director Jeff Hazel was out of the office an unavailable for comment Wednesday and today.
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