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Reliability of Willmar water service will be improved by pump station

WILLMAR -- Water capacity and service reliability in the northwest part of Willmar will improve after the Willmar Municipal Utilities installs a new pump station.

The Municipal Utilities Commission on Monday approved the low bid of $284,730 from Reiner Contracting Inc. of Hutchinson to provide a pre-manufactured pump station from SyncroFlo Inc. of Norcross, Ga.

The low bid was below the $297,665 engineer's estimate prepared by consultant Burns and McDonnell. Another, higher, bid was submitted by Engineered Fluid Inc. of Centralia, Ill., for $384,759.

The Reiner bid was recommended by Bart Murphy, the utilities' superintendent of water and district heating. The pump is a budgeted project for 2008, according to Murphy, and will be installed in late summer.

"I think we got a good bid,'' Murphy said.

Bruce Gomm, utilities general manager, said the new pump will expand and modernize the existing facility.

In other business, the commission approved requests to release two different transmission line easements from parcels of land that had been sold. Final approval must be given by the City Council, said Jeff Kimpling, manager of electric services.

The easements allow the transmission facilities to cross the sections of land where the parcels are located and allow repairs and maintenance to be performed on the lines. The partial release of the easements was a requirement of the sales.

Kimpling said both parcels are covered with "blanket easements,'' which cover the entire sections. Kimpling said, however, that both parcels are not located near the transmission facilities.

The first parcel is located about 3¾ miles south of Priam and is 4,300 feet from the utilities' 230-kilvolt line. The second parcel is located on the east side of 15th Street Southwest and on the north side of the state Highway 71/23 bypass. The transmission facility is located on the south side of the bypass.

The commission also:

- Welcomed new member Steve Salzer. His appointment to the commission by Mayor Les Heitke was recently approved by the City Council. Salzer is general manager of the MinnWest Technology Campus.

- Voted to contribute $2,000 to the Willmar Lakes Area Community Marketing Coalition. The commission contributed $2,000 in 2007. The coalition's goal is to create a positive image of the Willmar area. Commission member Dave Baker spoke in support of the coalition's efforts.

- Received a report from Gomm and commission members on their attendance at the American Public Power Association Legislative Rally Feb. 25-27 in Washington D.C. Commissioners met with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation and staff to discuss issues such as regulations related to global warming and financing for wind generation projects, and Willmar's power plant improvement plans.

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