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Estherville City Council - Wastewater treatment plant problems will lead to future expense

August 20, 2012
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

The Estherville Wastewater Treatment Plant is in further need of repair.

The city already was in the process of replacing the plant's primary digester.

At the council meeting Monday, city administrator Penny Clayton reported the secondary digester also is in need of rehabilitation.

While holes in the primary digester weren't discovered until it was being sandblasted, visible holes were vied in the cover of the secondary digester.

With both in need, the main costs for fixing the digesters is crane rental.

In a memo to council Clayton said the city would expect a cost savings in crane rental, contractor's administration and mobilization and engineering services of $190,000 if both are done together.

An excerpt from the meeting notes with DGR as drafted by Gordon Krause, phycial engineer stated," The city asked what level of urgency was required to address the secondary. Currently the steel on the secondary has corroded through and is venting gas. As time progress, we would expect that additional holes will corrode through and gas will continue to be vented. It is not likely that a catastrophic failure will occur, but the venting of gas that is occurring will progressively worsen and there is value to utilizing that gas to heat the sludge entering the primary digester."

Council was only required to take action on approving an amendment to the engineering agreement with DGR Engineering.

The additional engineering fees were estimated at $38,600, which council approved.

However, the additional construction costs are $393,00, which would bring the total estimated projects costs, including engineering to $1.337 million.

Clayton said she and other city officials are working on financing options for this project and she will present the options at a later date.

In other business, council authorized the replacement of an operator/mechanic position at the power plant due to the retirement of Bill Olesen. Olesen has been a city employee for 32 years and will officially retire on Oct. 5.

Council approved the resolution for setting the public hearing for sale of the excess city property at 1315 Third Ave. N. for the Tuesday, Sept. 4 meeting. The resolution also sets the minimum low bid of $85,000.

Council accepted the 2011 water main improvements on 2nd Avenue North and authorized the final payment.



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