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Wastewater Plant project moves forward

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Features

"Manholes look real good, like they were just laid five years ago," stated Mike Lynch, as he and Chuck Janski of Bonestroo Rosene Anderlik & Associates gave an update on the wastewater plant project to Harmony council members. If the outfall sewer line investigation turns out as good as the manholes, Harmony will be looking at considerably less than the $322,000 figure estimated for a worst case scenario.

Technicians using a special underground camera that allows them to determine if there are any obstructions in the sewer line will do an outfall line investigation. This is critical information when updating any wastewater system. The public will be forewarned about a camera truck approaching their property to conduct the work. The citys system should be running at about 600 gallons per minute, but is only running at 200 gallons. Quotes for the work are expected to run from $1.00-$1.25 per foot.

"Any ideas how were going to pay for this?," threw out council member Mark Mckay.

"Its called rates," replied City Administrator Jerome Ill.

The Minnesota Public Finance Authority has money set aside for the project. This is a state revolving loan program. However, the council is on a stringent timeline to get the necessary paperwork completed and bids accepted by the Finance Authoritys fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2003. The application total is $888,000. The council gave the green light for the loan application.

Tri-County Electric

Tri-County Electric representatives Brian Krambeer and Ted Kjos addressed the council, touching base first on the citys Rural Development grant and the electrical rate activity.

The city had received a grant for over $200,000 to be used in conjunction with the Industrial Park. However, there hasnt been enough activity to make use of the grant that would also require a partial match from the city as well as Tri County Electric. The deadline for the grant is June 24, 2003. At this point the city is declining the offer.

According to Krambeer, electric sales have shown a 6% increase in the last year. A five-year fixed rate has helped the city to see savings running in the thousands of dollars.

"The outpost here is a very important part of restoration", sited Krambeer as he wished to dispel any rumors that it would be discontinued. It is operated by a two-man crew.

Time of use rates were also discussed. This refers to larger electrical customers utilizing generators as a backup during storms and also during peak alert times. The electrical company has a cheaper rate for those who help lessen the burden of the electrical plant. Krambeer commended the city on their ability to regulate their usage in the most cost effective way for its residents and businesses.

The council was encouraged to look into Tri Countys updated billing system, which interfaces with the citys accounting system.

Community Center

With all the rain of late, the Community Centers roof rated high on the council members "to do list". Mark Thein was once again present to update the group on the roofs financial status. A 20-year loan at 4.5%, not to exceed $175,000, was reviewed. The board approved a "letter of intent" saying they would meet the required conditions of the USDA loan. Several of the conditions center on handicapped accessibility. It will be two to six weeks before a response is received. In the mean time, the city can ask for bids, saving time down the road.

Other business

There was no opposition during the public hearing regarding the raising of liquor licenses to $800.

A copy of the delinquent utility guideline was passed out for inspection.

"No overnight parking" signs will be posted in the Visiting Center lot. Overnighters are encouraged to use the trailhead lot.

TH 139 detour has begun. The work should be complete in six weeks approximately.

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