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Progress continues in linking city of Kandiyohi to GLSSWD system

Crews install a force main Wednesday on County Road 8 north of Kandiyohi as part of a $3.3 million project to con-nect the city to the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer District in Spicer. The project includes installing 13 miles of line. All but $541,212 of the project was paid for with federal stimulus grant money. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

KANDIYOHI -- Most of the force main has been laid in the city of Kandiyohi and crews are working their way north this week as part of a $3.3 million project to link the city to the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District in Spicer.

The project includes installing 13 miles of trunk line that will carry wastewater from Kandiyohi to the treatment facility in Spicer. The two lift stations -- one at the town's 60-year-old treatment plant and another near County Park 3 near Diamond Lake -- have not been installed yet.

Depending on the weather and work schedule, there's a possibility the system could be operating yet this year, said Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County Public Works Director. But contractor Quam Construction of Willmar has until June 30 to complete the project.

About 43 percent of the blue sewer pipes will be installed by using a trenchless method of directional boring and 57 percent will be installed with an open-cut trench, said Dean Helstrom, project manager with Bolton & Menk Inc. of Willmar.

There have been no surprises so far with the construction. "It's gone very well," said Helstrom.

Kandiyohi Mayor Craig Aurand was appointed on Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners to serve on the sewer and water district's board of directors, which helps oversee the operations of the system.

All but a sliver of the $3,382,578 project cost for the city is being covered by grants made possible by federal stimulus funding.

The city received $2,841,366 in grants from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority, which also provided a loan -- at a 1 percent interest rate -- for the remaining $541,212.

The 500 residents of the town will have 20 years to repay the low-interest loan.

"That's a heck of a deal," Danielson said.

The financial windfall to the city has "changed the complexion" of a proposed project to expand the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District to Diamond Lake, said Danielson.

Because the cost of the trunk line is essentially paid for with grant money, Diamond Lake residents would pay less than expected to be connected to the line that's going near their front door as part of the city's project.

Despite the savings, there is not a consensus among Diamond Lake residents about whether they should abandon their individual septic systems and hook up to the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District. But many of the lake's septic systems are out of compliance, and homeowners have a state deadline of October of 2010 to fix the problem.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750