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Willmar, Minn., committee OKs contracts for interceptor sewer, storm sewer work

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee has approved a $3,069,585 contract with Geislinger & Sons Inc. of Watkins for construction of the western interceptor sanitary sewer line.

Also, the committee approved a $505,769 contract with Geislinger & Sons for construction of a storm sewer line that will run parallel to a portion of the western interceptor.

The Geislinger bid was one of seven bids opened in July for the project. The highest bid was $4,855,182. The engineer's estimate was $4,381,880. Financing for the project includes a loan from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority and city funds.

Revenue from the local option sales tax will also be used because the interceptor sewer will travel through a portion of the former airport where local option sales tax revenue will be used to develop a new industrial park.

The 2.46-mile western interceptor is proposed to be constructed along the city's western border and will serve the new industrial park and west and northwest Willmar where the current sanitary sewer system is at capacity, according to city officials.

The western interceptor will connect at 30th Street and 30th Avenue Southwest with the southern interceptor, which carries all municipal waste to the new treatment plant located west of the city.

The western interceptor will generally proceed north near County Road 5 and connect with the existing sewer system in the Voss Park neighborhood on the north side of U.S. Highway 12.

The section of new storm sewer line is proposed to be constructed between 30th Avenue Southwest and 19th Avenue Southwest and is the first phase of a multi-phase project that will eventually improve storm water draining in southwest Willmar.

Officials are proposing to construct both the interceptor sewer line and the storm sewer line at the same time.

In other business, the committee Tuesday approved contracts with two companies for airport runway work. The contracts will be recommended to the council next week.

The committee approved a $72,480 contract with Kuechle Underground of Kimball for turf restoration of the grassed runway. A higher bid of $143,539 was submitted by Chad Monson Excavating of Willmar.

The committee also approved an $81,996 contract with Fahrner Asphalt Sealers of Eau Claire, Wis., for repairing runway and taxiway bituminous cracks and joints. Higher bids were received from Bargen Inc. of Mountain Lake and from Interstate Improvement Inc. of Faribault.

The state will pay 70 percent of the cost. The 30 percent local cost was budgeted in 2012 capital improvements. Jared Voge, interim city engineer with Bolton & Menk of Willmar, said the project must be under contract in 2012 in order to use state funds, although construction can be completed in 2013.

City staff said crack sealing is needed to maintain the runway. The Minnesota Department of Transportation inspected the runway last year and said the work was needed. The airport opened in 2006.

Future crack-sealing improvements are proposed for the west taxi lane, east taxi lane, parking lot and airport access road.

The council had earlier authorized an engineering design contract with Bolton & Menk, approved plans and specifications July 16 and authorized advertising for project bids. One bid was received on Aug. 9.

The council Sept. 4 rejected the bid and authorized re-advertising the project. The city received three bids on Sept. 20 but no bids for the turf work. The city then solicited quotes and received two from Kuechle and Monson for the turf runway work.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150