Roland council approves wastewater facility plan

Todd Thorson/Staff Writer/

Forrest Aldrich of Veenstra & Kimm was present at the Roland council meeting last Wednesday (Sept. 7) to present his firm’s recommendation for future improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment facility. He also presented the contract for the water treatment plant, which will update various structural aesthetics to the building.

Four possible options were discussed concerning the wastewater treatment facility, including:

1.) A new controlled sicharge lagoon, with a projected cost of $4.5 million. The city currently owns approximately 10 acres for its existing lagoon system, with roughly four acres of surface area for each of the two lagoon cells. A controlled discharge lagoon would require the purchase of approximately 75 acres of land, which could be an expansion of the existing site or an entirely new location could be used. This option would have low operating and maintenance costs, and disinfection of the wastewater would not be necessary.

2.) A new mechanical plant, including a sequencing batch reactor, at a projected cost of $4.125 million. This option would be expandable, but would have a high capital cost, as well as more costs involved with operation and maintenance. Preliminary treatment and disinfection, however, would be necessary with this plan.

The final two options are less expensive and are the most economical for Roland’s situation. These plans would involve the enhancement of the existing lagoon treatment system, by two different methods:

3.) Optaer-Sagr system, with a cost of $3.55 million. This would have lower operation and maintenance costs, but higher capital costs. The existing lagoons can be used, but the purchase of a small piece of land for the Sagr “pit” would be necessary. This is also an expandable system, but with certain modifications.

4.) Lemtec-Lemna system, with a cost of $2.84 million. Lowest capital costs, but higher operation and maintenance costs. This option also allows for flow equalization with an existing secondary cell. It is also the easiest system to expand using the existing lagoon system.

After discussing the various options with council, Aldrich recommended the Lemtec-Lemna system, which is the cheapest alternative for Roland. Funding sources, however, will be limited for the city, regardless of which sysem would be selected. Roland is currently not likely eligible for a Community Block Grant or a USDA Rural Development Grant. A State Revolving Fund low interest loan, however, could possibly be used.

With new DNR compliance regulations looming on the horizon in the near future for ammonia and e-coli concentrations, the reason for moving forward with this wastewater treatment facility plan was deemed necessary. These potential Roland facility plans approved by council will also be submitted this month to the Iowa DNR. Future time frames involving this project are estimated to be: November 1, 2017 - Final plans and specs submitted to DNR; April 1, 2018 - Contract awarded for improvements; August 1, 2019 - Complete construction of improvements; and September 1, 2019 - Achieve compliance with new permit limits.

Aldrich met with various council members, Mayor Jerry Balmer and Water/Wastewater Superitendent Nathan Hovick the week before the council meeting, where the aforementioned plans and options were first discussed.

“We received a new DNR permit,” said Aldrich. “The ammonia limit is going from double digits down to single digits, and the aerated lagoon treatment facility that we (currently) have cannot treat the ammonia down to the (new) level. This is the primary reason for doing this plan.

“The other reason for the wastewater proposal is the disinfection,” he continued. “We don’t disinfect the wastewater before going out into the stream, and the DNR is requiring disinfection of the wastewater.”

Aldrich also presented for council’s approval the engineering service agreement from V & K for the water treatment facility improvements. The improvements that will be made include: installaton of a dehumidifier system, installation of a ventilation system for the aeration room, repair/replacement of the cascade aerator, recoating of pipes, fittings and valves, replacement of doors and windows (including hardware) and recoating of the concrete walls.

Cost of the engineering agreement includes $24,800 for design services and $4,700 for general services during construction, fund review services and final project records.

In other business, the council:

—heard from Streets Superintendent Harold Hovick, who stated that he has checked with Manatt’s and the new man hole covers need to be patched before winter sets in. He also stated that the city has sprayed for mosquitos and will continue until it freezes.

—heard a report from Water/Wastewater Superintendent Nathan Hovick, who said the manhole and water main projects are complete, with surface restoration work remaining. The new lift station is also up and running, with water now running through the system. J & K still has some work left to do at the station, including grading and putting the fences back up. The sewer pipe from the building also wasn’t considered in the original plans, so there will be a change order forthcoming. Hovick also reported that the lone remaining property owner still has not signed the easement document for the prospective santitary sewer project on Samson Street, but did sign the archeological survey permission form. City Attorney Tom Wynia has been attempting contact with the property owner and has been unable to discuss the situation further. Paper work is now being filed to begin the condemnation process.

—heard a report from City Clerk Jodi Merideth. The utility clerk resigned on Friday, Sept. 2, and Wendy Weston has been hired for the position and was scheduled to start on Monday, Sept. 12. Discussed the current tenant of the Community Center, who has not paid the last two month’s rent. Council agreed to negotiate with her to try and work out an arrangement for paying on time. Merideth also reported that she will be out of the office for a couple weeks beginning Sept. 15.

—approved the interfund transfer of sums to various accounts for the FY 2015-16 budget, for use at a later date for improvements and capital expenditures.

—proclaimed Monday, October 31, 2016 as Halloween Beggar’s Night in Roland.

—approved Ordinance 98, as it pertains to amending certain illegal parking situations.

—approved Ordinance 99, as it pertains to the amending of certain sign requirements.

—approved the amendment of various sections, including the changing of wording, to the Employee Policy Handbook.

—approved the annual Urban Renewal Report for FY 2015-16.