The city of Madison will need to dig a deeper well than originally thought for an irrigation project at the Baughman-Belatti Sports Complex, thus driving up the total cost of the well.

Monday night, Park Supervisor Mike McGillivray told commissioners that the company hired to install a well for the irrigation system (Dell Rapids-based Lacey Well Drilling) discovered that there wasn’t enough water for the needs at the sports complex if the city installs a shallow well. There was enough water, however, if a deeper well is installed.

“They did find a good spot that the well driller is confident that it will flow 150 gallons a minute with 75 psi,” said McGillivray. “That’s what’s being required for the irrigation system, but with that drilling deeper there’s additional cost.”

Last month, commissioners approved spending up to $20,000 on the installation of a shallow well.

McGillivray said that $12,000 has been spent so far and that a deeper well would cost about $56,130. The total would be about $68,075 for a 275-foot well, he said.

“We wanted to be forward and upfront and tell everybody that it’s not gonna be as cheap as we thought it was going to be,” said McGillivray.

During their Sep. 7 meeting, commissioners approved a $53,000 irrigation project for the ball fields at the sports complex. McGillivray said then that such a system would improve the maintenance of the ball fields, especially during the summer months.

Parks Department employees looked at the advantages and disadvantages of installing a well for the irrigation system or tapping into the city water main. Drilling a well was determined to be the less expensive alternative.

The cost of the well is in addition to the $53,000 irrigation project.

Monday night, City Administrator Jameson Berreth recommended that commissioners move ahead with the deeper well because it will still provide a cost savings.

McGillivray said that it cost about $8,000 this past summer to run treated water through the Thue/Flynn Field complex. Running treated water at Baughman-Belatti would cost about $28,000 during a dry year. There would be no costs for water use if a well is on site.

Commissioners approved going ahead with the deeper well and having it drilled as soon as possible.