WICHITA WILDLIFE REFUGE, OK (KSWO) - Help has arrived for the Holy City. Last week, we told you that the Holy City of the Wichitas was in danger of closing. One man is working to make sure that doesn't happen.
Randy Dodd is a Lawton native and recently retired as a plumber. He saw our story about the problems the landmark was facing with it's water lines and its pipes which are more 70 years old. Not to mention the underground electrical wiring system that needs to be replaced. The Holy City started a GoFund me page to raise money for the repairs but Dodd wanted to replace the old pipes and hopefully get the water back on.
Dodd said he's been a proud and loyal visitor of the Holy City his entire life. He's seen the Easter Pageant many times, and says he couldn't let the history of the city just fade away. The Holy City of the Wichitas has no running water and people who visit the city have to use portable restrooms. When Dodd heard about this he knew he had to do something.
"They need some water, this is worth saving, and when I have some extra time I can come down and help them out," said Dodd.
A pipe company who wishes to remain anonymous is going to donate 800 brand new water pipes. In the first phase of the project Dodd plans to replace the water lines between the tanks and the valves at the Holy City. He hopes the process will get the water back on.
"Back down to the valley down there at the bottom, there is a valve down there and it runs 700 feet a pipe we are going to see if we can get it to work," said Dodd.
"Well he is a professional plumber and I'm not. Its been hard trying to figure it out," said Melton
Property Manager Shane Melton said it means a lot that Dodd would volunteer his time and effort to restore and revitalize the historical landmark that was built in 1935.
"It will keep thriving, people will still have a place to come. The Holy City needs to be open, its needs to be there for the people," said Dodd.
Melton said their underground electrical wiring system is about 50 years old and also needs to be replaced. Supporters started a GoFund Me page two weeks ago raising about 500 dollars in the first few days. After the story aired on 7News that number jumped to more than 8,000dollars.
Melton said he's thankful for the support.
"Its been phone calls all day everyday coming in. People want to donate and help out so its been real helpful since you all come out here," said Melton.
Dodd said replacing water lines and pipes can cost several thousand dollars depending on the severity of the problem. He plans to return to the Holy City next week and begin working on replacing the pipes. We will keep you updated on the process and when it will be complete. Click the link to make a donation.