September 24, 2007

Winsted's city hall project begins with unforeseen changes

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

Almost as soon as the digging began on the new Winsted City Hall’s storm sewer, four unforeseen obstacles were encountered by Greystone Construction, delaying the project’s progress.

Greystone waited for the city council to review the changes at its Tuesday meeting which held up construction for about one week, according to Dave Meyers, Winsted Public Works.

The council did approve the unplanned projects which included:

• the removal and cap-off of three water lines that run to the site,

• the removal and rerouting of Holy Trinity School’s sanitary sewer line which runs right through the location for the new building,

• relocating the fire hydrant to allow room for one additional parking space at the new city hall, and

• capping a nine-inch storm sewer drain tile, which will be replaced with one that is 12 inches.

To avoid future delays in the city hall and lakefront promenade project, the city authorized any prospective change orders can be approved by Mayor Steve Stotko and City Administrator Brent Mareck in the amount of $15,000 or less. The change order can then be presented to the city council at the following regular city council meeting.

Winsted water and sewer rates will increase

No one had any comments to make at the scheduled public hearing on increasing the Winsted water and sewer rates.

The council unanimously approved an amendment to increase the $2 water rate to $2.20 per thousand gallons. The increase will raise revenues in the water fund by approximately $14,400.

It agreed to increase the $4.63 sewer rate to $5.05 per thousand gallons. This will raise revenues in the sewer fund by approximately $23,505.

The additional funding will be used for future water and sewer capital improvements projects.

No update on the old city hall

City Attorney Fran Eggert told the council that there are no updates on the old city hall.

The owners of the old city hall, Todd and Kelly Colonna, will be served documents in the near future, Eggert said.

PeopleServices updates on wastewater plant

A representative from PeopleServices gave the council an update on the wastewater plant.

The storage tanks are up and need to have the pipes connected for decant. Once the pipes are connected, the tanks will need to be water tested.

The tanks are tested with approximately 400,000 gallons of water in them, watching for leaks and for proper mixing for about two weeks.

Then the plans are to transfer the sludge that is in the old plant over to the tanks and probably haul it out this fall.

The main reason for hauling sludge this fall, is that 3 million gallons of sludge will need to be removed from the first pond next year and will require as much land as possible to spread out.

Currently the city is waiting for a permit, which is required of everyone who produces wastewater. The permit must be renewed every five years.

When the permit comes, the city will be looking at two years to abandon the three current ponds.

In addition, new phosphorus limits will be set. The city will have three years to comply.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• was informed by City Clerk Treasurer Deb Boelter that the lakefront promenade project will be delayed until the spring 2008. Plans are to complete the lakefront by the end of July.

• authorized execution of a cooperative agreement between the City of Winsted Police Department and the Office of Justice Program in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for a $1,500 grant to purchase a defibrillator.

• was informed that the regular city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 6 will be rescheduled for Wednesday Nov. 7 because the HLWW school district has a referendum on Nov. 6.

• authorized the regular city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 4 to be rescheduled for Wednesday, December 5 at 6 p.m because the HLWW school district gets first choice for its truth-in-taxation public hearing and they chose Dec. 4.

• approved a scheduled truth-in-taxation public hearing for Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in the city council chambers.

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