The City of Granite Falls appears that it will be making a significant expenditure to improve the community’s wastewater treatment capacity in the coming future.
On Monday, council members listened to an engineering proposal by Ron LaFond, of Roseville Engineering firm, Stantec, that included recommendations for how the city may meet new MPCA National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements that govern operations of the city wastewater treatment plant.
LaFond said that preliminary inspections recognize a need to eliminate sanitary sewer bypasses, biosolids handling and disposal as well as plant repair and rehabilitation. He broke the project down into two phases that carried a composite cost of approximately $8.5 million. However, he said the city did not have to move forward with all the engineering recommendations.
As a mandated permit, the council elected to appropriate $50,000 to Stantec for in depth engineering services that should help verify project need and costs.
In other news
•At the recommendation of City Finance Director Mike Betker, council members awarded bids to replace the city’s financial accounting software, which had become outdated.
Between fiscal years 2013 and 2014 a total of $65,000 has been set aside for the software upgrade, though council members would award the project’s rights to Civic Systems out of Madison, Wisconsin in the amount of $76,255.
According to council information, Civic Systems was the highest bidder on the project, but was also the only the company to return the city’s Request for Proposal having met all requirements.
The implementation of the system is expected to begin March 25 with all software installed and functional by July 1 of this year.
•Council members awarded bids for a Department of Natural Resource $25,000 grant funded project involving the planting of trees on city boulevards during the spring of 2013.
Earlier in the year, a community-wide survey was issued that sought community requests for the grant funded tree plantings. Based on that survey a Request for Proposal to provide the trees was issued, with MAJSDAC Greenhouse providing a low bid of $25,783.60.
Planting of the trees is expected to take place in the spring. The $783.60 over the initial DNR grant will be the responsibility of the city.
•Council members passed a resolution requesting that the Minnesota Department of Transportation include the replacing of the Highway 212 underpass with a wider and high clearance bridge in an effort to improve transportation and safety issues associated with the site.
•Council members were introduced to a potential new Housing Ordinance that was compiled by City Attorney Greg Holmstrom from sample ordinance documents from the League of Minnesota Cities. According to Holmstrom, City Housing Inspector Darren Haslip as well as community members have recognized homes, particularly rental properties, which are viewed as not adequately keeping up their property in terms of quality and aesthetics.
Page 2 of 2 - Council members asked for a comparison between the old ordinance and new proposal, and will need to hold two readings of the new policy before it can be considered for acceptance into the city charter.
•Council members approved a new maintenance contract for the city’s three diesel generators with Ziegler Inc., of Shakopee as well as the extension of the generator’s warranty.
Ziegler previously provided maintenance services as directed by a 5-year contract with city in the amount of $16,586 annually. The new contract includes servicing of the generators for the next five years at $17,613 annually.
The current warranty on the generators expires on May 1 of this year. The extended 5-year warranty will run an additional $32,925 for the three generators combined.