Kandiyohi County opens bids for sewer project

WILLMAR -- The apparent low bid for a project to install a low-pressure wastewater collection system around Diamond Lake was $615,600 below the engineer's estimate.

WILLMAR -- The apparent low bid for a project to install a low-pressure wastewater collection system around Diamond Lake was $615,600 below the engineer's estimate.

Four bids were submitted Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Commissioners, who are expected to take action Friday night following a public hearing at 7 p.m. at the Atwater Community Center.

If approved, the collection line around Diamond Lake will connect to a sewer main line to transport waste to the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District's treatment facility in Spicer.

The main line is being installed by the city of Kandiyohi which petitioned the district to take its waste.

Not everyone on Diamond Lake is as enthusiastic about abandoning their individual septic systems and hooking up to the district, a service which will involve monthly fees and $16,326 in assessments to cover construction costs.


The project was prompted because of concerns about surface and underground water quality as nearly 70 percent of the septic systems on Diamond Lake are deemed non-conforming.

The Kandiyohi County Public Works Department will host an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday in Atwater to meet with individual property owners. An informational meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and the public hearing at 7 p.m.

The total cost for the project is $5.5 million.

The bids Tuesday included work on the collection loop around the lake and individual grinder pumps that will be installed at homes.

Engineers had estimated that part of the project at $4,794,000.

The apparent low bid of $4,179,340 came from Ellingson Drainage of West Concord.

GM Contracting Inc. of Lake Crystal bid $4,817,058 and Quam Construction Company Inc. of Willmar bid $4,914,752.

The bid from Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg was $6,068,220.


Meanwhile, Public Works Director Gary Danielson said attempts to treat bio-solids at the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District's sewer plant have been unsuccessful and it's been determined an expansion of the liquid storage facility is necessary.

If that $443,000 project gets the go-ahead, it will be combined with the bond for the Diamond Lake project, if that project is given the final go-ahead Friday.

In other action Tuesday:

- After learning that the price to do 14 soil borings and water samples at the sanitary landfill was more than double the estimate, the Board of Commissioners tabled action until next month. The samples are needed to determine the extent of an underground pollution plume in an old section of the landfill.

- The commissioners approved a voluntary early retirement incentive package for full-time employees who have worked 15 consecutive years.

- The commissioners tabled action to distribute $125,745 in gravel tax to townships until information about where the revenue was generated could be verified. Townships where gravel is mined receive the tax benefit. Commissioners questioned why no gravel tax was reported from Colfax or Dovre townships, where active gravel pits are located. The gravel tax is a self-reporting system that requires operators to inform the county auditor how many yards of gravel were mined and then pay the corresponding tax.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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