The Tuesday, June 5 Rushford Village Council meeting almost didn’t happen with Councilors Dennis Overland, Chad Rasmussen, and Rich Smith out. Overland and Rasmussen were on storm watch with the Rushford Fire Department. The meeting was almost called for lack of quorum, but Councilor Dennis Overland joined Mike Ebner and Mayor Gordon Johnson for a delayed 7:15 p.m. start. Rasmussen arrived part way through the meeting.
Following approval of minutes from the previous meeting, financials, and a brief update from Planning and Zoning Administrator Jon Pettit, Derek Olinger, of Bolton & Menk, provided an update on Benson Lane.
The creek crossing, which was completely renovated last year, began showing signs of washing on the the sides and under the concrete. Olinger visited the site last week and met with Ryan Oian of Generation X Construction, the firm which did the project. The site is still under warranty, so Oian will do miscellaneous site regrading to alleviate water getting under the concrete. The work will be done within the next two weeks.
“It’s pretty minor. Luckily caught early, so not a major problem,” noted Olinger. “This brings up another point; this is a Missouri Crossing, so there is going to be a time when that creek level comes up and water starts running across. One of the reasons we don’t typically build these unless you absolutely have to is kind of the situation here, where they’re more prone to maintenance issues. It’s not always going to be where this project is going to be under warranty. This is going to have to be one of those infrastructure items in town where you watch and once in a while fill a void that comes up or something else. It’s just kind of the nature of the beast with these types of crossings.”
“Would it help to put any kind of grid over the culverts to help with debris, so it doesn’t lodge or try to go into the culvert,” asked Johnson who eluded to a situation elsewhere where debris was lodged and built up. “The more you get like that… it gets filled in and there gets to be a problem.”
Olinger noted that the culverts in the crossing are now substantially bigger that what was previously there. “It’s just one of those things that you’re going to have to be watching, especially if the water’s running out there and you know that thing is overflowing, it’s not a bad idea to run out there and take a quick look at it just to make sure it’s not completely jammed up.” Onlinger noted he’d stuck a tape measure it to see the depth and it was over five feet. The site has a geotextile fabric in place and it is working correctly.
“That’s what it’s for,” added Olinger. “We wrapped all the fill that’s under the concrete in that. So that theoretically, when water does get to it, it doesn’t take the soil with it.” He did clarify that there are some corners that have less wrap.
“It was caught in time,” noted Johnson.
Another ongoing maintenance problem is drainage in south Rushford. According to Olinger, the survey report is complete and Bolton & Menk is working with a water resource engineer out of Mankato to help address the issues. “He’s just starting to dive in,” said Olinger, who anticipated further information by July.
Rain is hampering the progression of work on public works projects, but Public Works Supervisor Travis Scheck did let the council know work is being completed on various issues. One of the ongoing issues that he has been able to tackle is work at the lift station.
“I’m still fighting with the lift station every week, week and a half, even with cleaning out the baskets. The catch baskets prior to the sewer system are being plugged with personal hygiene products and wipes that are sold as “flushable.” Neither are flushable and can wreak havoc on the city’s sewer system pumps.
Johnson questioned whether or not grinder pumps could be added to the lift station, but Scheck indicated they are quite expensive. “They may be expensive, but it’s still maybe cheaper than the maintenance,” said Johnson.
Olinger added the additional risk is backup of the system. “And then it does some serious damage.”
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m., at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.