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City closes planning phase for new treatment plant

WILLMAR -- The planning phase for the new wastewater treatment plant has closed, and consultants are working on the design phase of the new plant.

During the planning phase, from the last half of 2005 and most of 2006, consultants wrote the facility plan and all the background that went into it, according to Craig Holmes, program manager for Donohue and Associates.

The background included evaluation of treatment plant flows and loading, an inventory of users and their projected needs, a look at new discharge limits, evaluation of Jennie-O Turkey Store's current and future loads, and an inventory of the sanitary sewer system and all lift stations.

"From that we wrote the facility plan that describes what we're doing in design and how it will be built,'' said Holmes. The plan was approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in June 2006.

The planning phase is the first of three phases. Design work, which is the second phase, actually began last June and will be completed in October. Construction is the final phase.

Holmes said about 30 people at offices in four states will be involved in the design phase.

"It's going to be a very, very busy time,'' Holmes said. "This is a significant design project, so it's quite a team of designers in a host of disciplines.''

The team includes Engan Associates of Willmar, which is handling the architectural design work, according to Holmes.

The Willmar City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee voted to close the planning phase Tuesday afternoon with approval of a final payment of $1,392 toward Donohue's $1 million contract for planning services.

City Administrator Michael Schmit recommended the payment be approved. The committee's vote will be considered by the council on Monday. Donohue's overall estimate for engineering, programming and programming costs is $10 million.

In other action, the committee:

- Approved a request from the Willmar Design Center to close Becker Avenue Southwest between Fourth and Fifth Streets for the second annual Downtown Becker Market every Thursday from June through September. Hours will be from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

n Approved final payment of $24,517 to Duininck Bros. Inc. of Prinsburg for last year's $504,795 mill and overlay project on North Business 71.

- Approved final payment of $10,836 to Duininck Bros. for the $99,219 apron expansion project at the Willmar Municipal Airport.

In other business, committee member Ron Christianson asked Schmit about the status of money to establish railroad crossing quiet zones. Christianson said loud train whistles are a quality of life issue for people.

Schmit said the city's Washington D.C. lobbyist continues to look for government funds to pay for the proposal.

Up to this point, however, the search has not been successful, said Schmit. "Otherwise, we'll have to put it in our budget,'' he said.

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