By Roz Kohls
DASSEL, MN An estimated $600,000, “shovel-ready” plan for 10-inch watermains is in the works for downtown Dassel.
Dassel City Council members at the infrastructure/budget workshop Thursday decided to put the engineer’s authorization to finalize the plan on the agenda for the full city council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
The plan for replacing the 4-inch to 6-inch watermains in Third Street with 10-inch watermains, and install a 10-inch watermain in West Pacific Avenue, is already on the 2009 list for the state’s Public Financing Authority.
However, the council is going after federal economic stimulus infrastructure funds available within the next 90 days. Congress hasn’t worked out the details of how the funding will work yet, but City Engineer Chuck DeWolf of Bolton & Menk said it might have 0 percent interest rate financing, or it might be a grant.
The bigger watermains will improve water pressure and flow for fire protection in the south side of town.
“It makes a lot of sense,” Mayor Mike Scanlon said, after comparing charts of current water flow with charts of how the water flow will be with bigger watermains.
“It will drastically improve the flows in the Highland Meadow areas,” DeWolf pointed out.
A trench will be cut from Highway 12 south to Red Rooster Industrial Park in Third Street for the replacement main.
The new watermain will be bored under the railroad track. DeWolf said he will apply for a permit from the railroad immediately. When the city bored a new watermain under the tracks to the Sellards Drive area in the fall of 2008, it took the railroad twice as long as usual to respond, DeWolf said.
The plan also includes filling in the dip and repairing the street in the block where the road crosses the tracks, he said.
In addition, the new watermains will get rid of 10 problem valves and provide new fire hydrants, pointed out Public Works Director Dave Scepaniak.
Currently, the Sellards Drive area, one of the fastest growing parts of the city, is relying on two mains, a 4-inch to 6-inch main coming into the area from the east, and the new 10-inch main installed in the fall to connect the area to the site of the new 300,000-gallon water tower under construction on the west side of town.
Council Member Bob Lalone said water flow in the Sellards Drive area is slow and barely adequate to take a shower.
Putting in a third connection in Pacific Avenue will not only improve flow in the Sellards Drive area, but also will be needed in the area to be developed in the future, DeWolf said.
Once DeWolf is authorized by the council Tuesday, he will get the surveying started, and submit the plans to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health Department. DeWolf expects the plans will take six weeks, he said.
The bids might be let in April, and construction might begin in May.
If Dassel doesn’t get federal funds, the financing through PFA still might be favorable. Dassel received a rate of 1.016 percent over a 20-year period for the $1.2 million obligation bonds from PFA for the new water tower. The rate is so low that over the course of the loan, it will save the city $420,000, City Administrator Myles McGrath said Oct. 6.