Wednesday, March 11, 2009
sponsored by Graue Inc. & Curry Professional Lawn Care

Council hears details of 2 sewer and drainage projects and possible stimulus funding

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[March 11, 2009]  Prior to the Tuesday night workshop meeting of the Lincoln City Council, the committee on the sewage treatment plant, sewers and drainage met to discuss several issues.

Alderwoman Marty Neitzel asked that waste treatment manager David Kitzmiller lead the discussions.

Economic recovery funds for Fifth Street sewer project

Kitzmiller began with recent developments stemming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The funds administered by the EPA revolving loan fund have been doubled and will be distributed to municipalities for projects in a two-part format.

In order to apply, the city of Lincoln must have a project application submitted by the end of March.

Funds will be allocated by the EPA no later than the end of September, and awarded projects must be started before the end of the calendar year.

If the city applies for and wins an award, 25 percent of the total would be in the form of a grant, with the other 75 percent being an interest-free 20-year loan.

Kitmiller says that the project the city is most ready to begin is the Fifth Street sewer project, which will cost about $170,000.

There are two phases to the application process. Hansen Engineering has said that they will do the initial phase, a pre-application, free of charge, but they may request loan administration fees for the final application to cover extra engineering and drafting services that would be needed.

During discussion, it was noted that the extra fees Hansen will charge can be added to the total request.

The EPA will prioritize projects, and there is no guarantee that the city will get funding. Awards will first be given to projects that have requests already pending. After that, projects will be prioritized according to readiness to commence.

Issues with Singleton lift station

Kitzmiller gave the council handouts with diagrams of the Singleton lift station and explained how the station works. He said that one valve has failed in the double-valve station. The repair would involve replacing both valves at an estimated cost of $15,000 plus any incidentals, such as pipes that might have to be replaced.

Kitzmiller said the Singleton station is going to need to be replaced eventually, and when it is, valves that are replaced now will be money lost because they are the wrong size to use anywhere else.

He offered the committee three options for remedy, with the third one being a major project that would ultimately save the city a good deal of money. After much discussion, the committee decided to have Kitzmiller and city engineer Mark Mathon pursue the third option.

That project would involve redirecting waste from two lift stations on Woodlawn, one referred to as the Kmart and the other the Zion.

The Kmart would be taken out completely, and gravity flow lines would direct waste to a line that runs between the old Wal-Mart building and Kroger south to a new force main that would be located along the east side of Malerich Drive.

The Zion station would remain in place and would pump waste along Malerich Drive to the new force main.

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From the force main, waste would travel south to Fifth Street and join the sewer system there.

An existing line that now runs along the west side of Lincoln Parkway from Woodlawn to Fifth Street would be taken out of use and filled with concrete.

In the final step, the Kmart lift station would be moved to the Singleton location.

Kitzmiller says that the total cost of the project is around $360,000 but will actually save the expense of a new lift station for Singleton. In addition, this would be where the new hospital and Castle Manor would connect to the city sewerage system. The city may be able to recover some of its costs from the construction of those two facilities.

Kitzmiller said that he and Mathon have done all the measurements and shot the elevations to assure that the gravity flow would work, but he suggested that the city hire Donohue and Associates to perform the calculations again and verify they are correct, at a cost of $2,500. The committee voted to go ahead with that recommendation.

New electric supplier prospect

The city of Lincoln is looking for a new electric supplier for city services. Kitzmiller offered the council a large packet of information regarding the electric usage and rates on the market currently.

He pointed out that a document from a supplier called Mid-American Energy shows a savings of roughly 15 percent on a 24-month agreement. The figure he presented to the council was only for the wastewater treatment plant, which must move from Ameren no later than June 1, 2010.

If the city would move all its electric usage to Mid-American and increase the term length of the agreement, the savings could be greater.

Kitzmiller said that he has asked Mike Ellis, salesman for Mid-American, to come to the March 24 meeting to address any questions the council might have.

This concluded the discussions on the sewage treatment plant, sewers and drainage at the sanitation committee meeting.


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