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County to bill city of Willmar up front for drainage-related study

WILLMAR -- On a 3-2 vote Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed to charge the city of Willmar $40,000 in up-front fees for a drainage-related study.

A "redetermination of benefits" study for county ditches 10 and 46 is required as part of a new outlet agreement involving the city's discharge of treated wastewater. The city will be charged for its share of the remaining costs, along with other property owners. After the city's new wastewater treatment facility is completed, treated water will be discharged into County Ditch 10. It currently goes to County Ditch 46.

The benefits study will entail surface water drainage that will include the city and other property owners.

Willmar Public Works Director Mel Odens was not pleased that the city was being asked to provide so much money up-front for the study and questioned how the amount was determined.

Loren Engelby, county drainage inspector, said the figure was based, in part, on the estimated cost of doing the study.

Commissioners Falk and Dean Shuck voted against the agreement and Commissioners Larson, Peterson and Harlan Madsen voted in favor of it.

The commissioners also heard a detailed report on the Willmar wastewater treatment facility's planning and construction schedule.

In other action:

- The commissioners approved a bid of $4,199,993 from Duininck Bros. Inc. for bituminous surfacing for 14 separate projects, totaling about 40 miles. The Duininck Bros. bid was the lowest of four that were submitted. The county estimated the work at $4,195,693.

- Bids for installing a wastewater collection system around Henderson, George and Nest lakes were opened but action wasn't taken. All the bids were under the $5.8 million estimate. Two bids were $1.4 million below the estimate, with about $1,000 separating the two lowest bids.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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