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Maynard, Minn., looks to Legislature for funds to protect treatment plant

Volunteers came to the rescue in March 2010 when floodwaters on Hawk Creek threatened the wastewater treatment plant in Maynard. The city is seeking state funding to raise its berm protecting the plant. Tribune file photo

MAYNARD — The city of Maynard escaped serious problems after a sanitary sewer line collapsed on Easter Sunday, but city workers are keeping a watchful eye on a patched up system as the city seeks funding help from the state.

City workers were able to temporarily bypass the collapsed sewer line and prevent backup problems in basements in community homes, according to Maynard City Clerk Amanda Dack.

The line collapsed under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks that split the north and south sides of the city of 366 people.

While service has been restored for the north side, the city has been experiencing mechanical problems with a lift station serving the south side. City workers are pumping to divert water from the system into a field, but remain concerned. Snowmelt and forecast precipitation could soon add to the flow.

Mayor Richard Groothuis officially declared a state of emergency on April 4.

State Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, introduced two bills seeking funds on behalf of Maynard.

While cautioning that work remains, Koenen said Tuesday he is optimistic that the city will receive funding help. The city has been seeking state and United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development financial support for four years. It currently has a high ranking for its projects, and the recent emergency declaration will only improve the prospects for a timely approval, said Koenen.

The most urgent needs are to replace the collapsed line and the lift station.

Overall, the city is seeking a total of $3,274,000 to rebuild its sanitary sewer infrastructure and to raise the berm protecting the wastewater treatment plant along Hawk Creek.

It required an emergency sandbagging effort in March 2010 to protect the plant.

Dack said the city is keeping a watchful eye for flooding along Hawk Creek this spring too.  

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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