Weather Forecast


City Council OKs sewer line work, decommissioning two lift stations

WILLMAR -- The city will open construction bids on May 3 for rerouting the 21st Street Southwest wastewater sewer line and for decommissioning the Arby's and Ortenblad wastewater lift stations.

The Willmar City Council Monday night approved plans and specifications and authorized wastewater project consultant Donohue and Associates to advertise for construction bids. The cost is estimated at $376,674.

Under a timetable presented by Donohue program manager Rhonda Rae, the council will be asked on May 16 to authorize a construction contract. She said work will completed by Aug. 31.

The 21st Street Southwest sewer rerouting and decommissioning of the lift stations are part of the city's $86.2 million wastewater treatment and conveyance project.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved a change order to include the lift station and sewer line work, said Rae.

She said the 21st Street sewer line will be completed before the Ortenblad lift station, which is also on 21st Street, is decommissioned. Council member Ron Christianson wanted information about the work, since the project is located in his neighborhood and the neighbors are asking.

The sewer work will consist of constructing approximately 1,500 feet of 8-inch through 18-inch diameter gravity sewer from near the Ortenblad lift station to the interceptor sewer located along 30th Avenue Southwest.

Rae said 400 feet of sewer line will be built in 21st Street; the remainder will be built through a drainage ditch easement across farm land. The trench in 21st Street will be curb-to-curb and about 20 feet deep. Rae said she will work with homeowners to make sure they can have access to their property.

She said there may be a day or so when homeowners won't be able to get in and out of their driveway, "but we hope to minimize that as much as possible.''

The Ortenblad lift station is named after the residential development it serves. For years, it pumped to the old treatment plant just east of the Kandi Mall. The plant is being dismantled. In recent years, the station has been pumping wastewater to the interceptor line that begins at the site of the old treatment plant.

After the lift station no longer operates, wastewater will flow south by gravity directly to the interceptor along 30th Avenue.

Decommissioning will include removal of the top 3 feet of the structure, backfilling, and removal of the concrete pad, fence and gate. The site will eventually revert to the property owner next to the station.

Rae said the Municipal Utilities will remove electrical equipment. She said pumps, six valves, dehumidifiers, controllers, heaters and floaters inside the structure and the fence and gate will be salvaged and turned over to the city.

The Arby's lift station is located on 24th Avenue Southwest between First Street and Fifth Street. The station has not been used since last fall because the line, which served that area, was connected to the new interceptor.

The concrete pad will be removed and the top 10 feet of the station will be removed and backfilled. Rae said the control panel, pumps, antennas, floats, transducers, and three valves will be removed and turned over to the city.

Council member Jim Dokken asked if the city will use the salvaged equipment.

Rae said the city maintenance crew will clean the pumps and keep spare parts. She said everything is reusable.

Council member Steve Ahmann thanked Rae for her work and asked if designing the decommissioning project was easier or simpler than designing the treatment project. Ahmann asked how engineering fees are based. He wondered if the fees were 5 or 10 percent of the cost.

Rae said fees on based on an hourly rate. "We look at the hours that it will take to produce the plans and try to come in as close as we can to that,'' she said.

"We have to look at what the codes are on how these things get removed. There is still the code compliance on different structures for what we're doing here and making sure we're doing the regulations on it,'' she said. "So there still is some engineering to be done.''

During the roll-call vote on the resolution to approve the plans and specification, Ahmann paused about 3 seconds when his named was called by City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday before he voted in favor.

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