Council to extend offers for land for sewer line corridor

WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar will extend offers to owners of farmland where construction is proposed for pipelines for the new wastewater treatment plant.

WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar will extend offers to owners of farmland where construction is proposed for pipelines for the new wastewater treatment plant.

The City Council voted Monday night to extend offers totaling $205,000 to owners of nine parcels of land within the proposed pipeline corridor.

The city says the parcels are needed to provide a corridor where the gravity-operated interceptor sewer line carrying municipal waste and the pressure pipe carrying Jennie-O Turkey Store waste will be built.

The width of the corridor varies from about 170 feet on the east end to about 200 feet on the west end, according to Craig Holmes, program manager for Donohue and Associates, the sewer project's consultant.

City Administrator Michael Schmit said the parcels in question are located between 30th Street Southwest and County Road 116.


The corridor generally follows 28th Avenue/30th Avenue Southwest and County Ditch 46 straight west to the plant site.

The new plant will be built near County Road 116 and the city's brush site, and will be treating waste by 2010.

The old plant, located on Willmar Avenue Southeast, uses failed treatment technology and will not comply with future treatment standards, according to the consultants.

A resolution approved by the council states the compensation amounts determined by Ruhland Commercial Consultants of St. Cloud "are just and reasonable for the taking by the city of these real property interests.''

The resolution directs the city administrator and Donohue to offer the amounts to property owners in the corridor.

Property owners oppose the taking of their land for the sewer lines and want the lines built along state Highway 40.

Schmit made sure council members understood the offers are for the purchase of the parcels.

"We'd own the land as opposed to buying an easement,'' he said.


Schmit said he hopes to negotiate settlements with landowners during the next 30 days. If no settlements are reached, the next step is to proceed with eminent domain, in which the court would appoint commissioners to determine just compensation, he said.

Schmit said all farm field tile lines crossed by the corridor will be replaced. "All of us understand that field tiles have been a major concern of the property owners, and we're making every attempt to deal with it as best we can,'' he said.

Schmit said easements will be provided to landowners to let them cross the corridor to adjacent fields, and easements will be provided to farmers for that portion of their tile line on city property.

Landowners remain opposed to the project. One landowner, Mark Kvam of Willmar, said Tuesday that he had not heard of the appraisals. He said landowners want the project to follow Highway 40.

Kvam said he is "definitely not wanting to sell.''

In related business, the council approved the $415,825 bid from Chad Monson Excavating of Willmar to construct the second phase of the interceptor sewer line between the old treatment plant and 19th Avenue Southeast.

Monson's bid was the second-lowest of nine bids submitted.

The low bid of $335,475 from Kuechle Underground Inc. of Kimball was withdrawn by Kuechle because asphalt replacement costs were not included, said Holmes.


Holmes said the Monson bid included the replacement costs, and he said Monson was equipped to handle the job.

Council member Ron Christianson said the difference between Monson's bid and the $954,000 engineer's estimate was considerable.

Holmes said the bid amount depends on work that contractors have at hand. "This is a nice project to finish up and generate some income before the winter season,'' said Holmes.

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