July 2, 2007
New Germany: growing and changing
By Jenni Sebora
With growth comes change, and that is what the City of New Germany is experiencing.
The Metropolitan Council estimated that the population of New Germany would grow from 346 to 847 between 2000 and 2020, an increase of 145 percent.
To keep up with this growth, a new water tower is going under construction and a new or updated water treatment plant is currently in the permit phase.
If expected to grow and expand, facilities need to keep up with the growth, New Germany Mayor Pete Pederson noted and city engineer Sheila DeWolf of Bolton and Menk agreed.
Fifty years old and tapped out, at or over capacity, it was time to do something about the old water tower, Pederson noted.
“We were between a rock and a hard wall we couldn’t provide more services,” Pederson said of the need for the new tower.
Necessity it was. There were 40 “hook-ups” with the old water tower, which Pederson said was at or over capacity. With the new tower, 10 15 “hook-ups” are already gobbled up, he added.
The new tower will hold 250,000 gallons of water versus the old tower, which was a 50,000 gallon tower a 200,000 gallon increase. This increased capacity can handle a population up to 1,700.
Residents in New Germany are excited to watch the construction of this project which is expected to be completed this fall, 2007, Pederson said.
This $760,000 project includes the construction of the tower and connections to the well and water main, DeWolf explained.
“Everybody is watching it (water tower construction). People are excited about it,” Pederson said, including himself.
“It’s a little scary,” Pederson said of the projects and costs of the projects that are underway. But Pederson added, “You need to expect to grow if you don’t grow, you will die.”
DeWolf agreed. The project is a necessity. The 50,000 gallon water tower was at capacity and the well was needed either way, DeWolf noted. There was no back-up well. The existing well will serve as back-up to the new well.
To keep growing and to keep up with the developments that are currently underway or soon to be, these projects, DeWolf added, were needed.
Black Forest Estates, on the northeast side of town, will offer 182 homes when completed. Twin homes will also be a part of this development offering people another form of housing. The city approved a variance to allow the developers, Sam and Clay Montgomery, to put in twin homes as part of this development.
A new ball diamond next to the existing one may also be a part of the Black Forest Estates development, Pederson added.
The south side of town may be home to a multiple dwelling, town home development also. This development is currently in the planning stages.
And Pederson, who has been in the construction business himself and has witnessed the ebb and flow of growth and development, said this form of housing is just what the area needs.
Pederson said he knows of people, such as retirees, who are living in the area and want to stay, but they have no place to go. And town homes, which are association run, are good options. The developments are maintained and provide less work for people, Pederson added.
The Trophy Lake development is also another residential development which is in the planning process, DeWolf noted.
Going hand in hand with the water tower and well project, a new wastewater treatment plant is also in the works.
New Germany’s current waste water treatment plant is antiquated, in need of updating and is at or near capacity as well, Pederson noted and DeWolf agreed.
The city is allowed only 35 more connections to its current system until it’s at capacity, DeWolf said.
To aid in the planning of this project, city officials traveled to the neighboring City of Mayer to take a look at its new waste water treatment plant.
For New Germany, a new mechanical waste water treatment plant is currently in the permit stage. Once this process is complete, obtaining the city’s approval to move forward with the bidding process is the next step, DeWolf noted.
Even though Pederson said all of these projects can seem overwhelming, he was not hesitant to say they are necessities, especially if the town wants to continue to grow.
Although Pederson grew up in Iowa and has previously resided by Lake Minnetonka, he has been living in New Germany for 20 years and considers it home.
“I consider it my home town. I love it here,” Pederson said. “I promote the town.”
He also supports the growth. The projects underway certainly do that as well.