ISU study shows water capacity as a long-term concern for Huxley

Andrew Gogerty, Contributing Writer

A report by the Community Regional Planning Department of Iowa State University stated that the city of Huxley nearly reached its water capacity limits during July of 2017 — a trend that has city officials concerned as Huxley continues to grow.

A group of students from Iowa State University revealed those findings during a presentation at last week’s council meeting, along with a proposed comprehensive plan for the city based on a recent study, which included a Community Advisory Committee, data collection and analysis, and a survey of Huxley citizens.

The study showed a peak water usage of nearly 800,000 gallons of water during the dry summer month of July, 2017. The maximum capacity of Huxley’s water treatment facility is 800,000 gallons. While the capacity is not an immediate problem, City Engineer Forrest Aldrich echoed the long-term concern.

“It got pretty close a couple of years ago, and that’s a concern I have,” said Aldrich. “It takes a while to get funding in place to build and expand the water plant. It usually takes several years to get that accomplished. As the city continues to grow, the water demand is going to increase.”

Aldrich encouraged the council to keep this issue in mind with its long-term planning and to keep the process moving.

The data collected by Iowa State University also included information on population, housing, environment, economy, transportation, land-use and facilities. The study considered Huxley’s 2013 comprehensive plan as a baseline for its recommendations.

The presentation highlighted six main topics for the council to consider: Population growth, fiscal limitations, water capacity, public safety, maintenance of public facilities and economic development. According to a survey of Huxley citizens, the three main improvements that area residents desire are: Increased job opportunities in Huxley, expanded retail options and a revitalization of the downtown district.

The council discussed the findings of the report at the end of the meeting and plans to review the document in its entirety in future work sessions in order to make appropriate recommendations as part of their Capital Improvement Program.

Huxley’s Vision Statement, as released by the Community Advisory Committee states the following:

“Huxley is a growing community in the heart of the prairie with a small-town feel, built on Norwegian roots. Conveniently located, this safe and family-friendly town values education, recreation and a great quality of life. Through thoughtful and strategic planning, Huxley supports balanced growth for diverse business, cultural and social opportunities.”