Utilities Commission OKs water treatment plant project bid
WILLMAR -- Work to remove aging water filtering material and install new filtering material at the city's southwest water treatment plan could begin within the next couple of months, under a bid approved by the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission.
WILLMAR - Work to remove aging water filtering material and install new filtering material at the city’s southwest water treatment plan could begin within the next couple of months, under a bid approved by the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission.
The commission voted Monday to approve the apparent low bid of Di-Mar Construction Inc. of Excelsior. The bid was $55,600 below the $351,600 estimate of Carollo Engineers of Broomfield, Colorado, the utility’s project consultant.
Commission Chairman Matt Schrupp and other commissioners were pleased that the bid was below the engineer’s estimate.
“That’s good news,’’ he said.
The current filtering material, called greensand, filters out iron and manganese. The greensand was installed when the southwest treatment plant was built in 1992. Joel Braegelman, water and heating supervisor for the city-owned utility, said greensand has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years and is now in its 23rd year. The greensand will be replaced with new filtering material.
As the greensand has deteriorated over the years, the utility has increased the amount of time required to backwash and remove the iron and manganese from the filtering material, which takes time away from water treatment.
In an interview, Braegelman said work could start as early as Nov. 1 or as late as the end of February, depending on when Di-Mar receives the new filtering material.
“Hopefully they can get it done within a month,’’ he said.
In other business, the commission approved the 2016 contract and total compensation package with General Manager Wesley Hompe. The Labor Committee recommended the commission approve the contract and compensation package.
Hompe’s salary will increase from $126,000 to $132,500, and he’ll receive an automobile allowance of $400 per month, pension contributions, general insurance and a deferred compensation match.
Commission action follows three Labor Committee meetings on Aug. 21, Sept. 2 and Sept. 17 when the contract and package were discussed and ultimately approved. The contract and compensation package take effect Monday, said Carol Laumer, committee chairwoman. Laumer said the annual review was very favorable to Hompe.
Laumer said committee members discussed what they wanted for Hompe’s salary and car allowance. They considered Hompe’s positive performance evaluation, industry salary standards, and staying competitive in the market.
Hompe thanked the committee and commissioners for drawing his salary closer to what the market is.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Hompe said DeWind technicians began annual maintenance work this past Saturday on the two wind turbines. Intermittent stoppages can be expected for either or both turbines this week. Hompe said technicians are preparing the turbines for winter.
Also, Hompe said the Willmar Utilities will hold the annual Public Power Week open house from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Willmar Civic Center.