Fountain council implementing plan to increase
effectiveness of wastewater treatment plant
Tuesday, July 09, 2013 3:37 AM
Last Tuesday evening, Fountain's city council authorized city engineer Dave Morrill, of McGhie & Betts, to spend up to $25,000 to purchase a switchboard and necessary electrical and plumbing services to divert wastewater at the city's 2-year-old wastewater treatment plant, in order to use one of the existing treatment tanks as a stabilization pond.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) had recommended that the city construct a stabilization pond at the nearly-new plant, but the price tag attached stands at approximately $40,000. Having spent funds on other attempts to mitigate problems, the council was reticent to spend more.
Fountain's mayor, Richard Kujath, outlined the proposal to install submersible pumps in the plant to eliminate air in the water being treated.
"Dave Morrill met with the MPCA, and they still think we should have stabilization ponds," Kujath explained. "That's most expensive."
He added that the city is permitted to handle 60,000 gallons a day, but right now, the city is using only 22,000 to 24,000 gallons of its capacity.
"If we were to shut down one of the tanks and block it off, use it as a stabilization pond, we could install a control panel for $11,000 that would give us variable speed," Kujath continued. "It's a little more money than other options, but it would work, and the pumps wouldn't be wasted if we change the plant. The company that's selling the pumps has two rebuilt ones, and they'll let us use them. I want to try this, but I want to be sure that we run them during the cold season, through January, February and March."
Fountain Police Chief Tom Mosher was unable to attend the meeting because he had duties to fulfill in his role as Ostrander's police chief.
A report of police activities was distributed to council members, and vandalism at city parks was discussed, as city clerk Ronda Flattum stated that Mosher has located people of interest related to the incidents.
Kujath inquired as to whether the city has insurance to cover the damages if nobody is caught, and Flattum replied that she had contacted the League of Minnesota Cities regarding the possible claim.
Councilor Bryan Ostby pointed out that "if they're caught, there will be charges and restitution."
City maintenance business was next on the agenda, including considering the purchase of a grinder, which the council chose not to purchase because of the expense and the specificity of its use.
The council did approve a request from city maintenance worker Dan Byer to attend a training session in Spring Grove. The classes are being held for no charge to its participants.
In the clerk's report, Flattum spoke of flood recovery assistance available to Fillmore County veterans or their spouses, following the June 21 flooding.
"There's up to $1,000 for veterans or their widows, so if they have damage to their basements, they can be referred to Jason Marquardt at the county veterans' office. Applications will be taken until Sept. 30, and money can be used for food, supplies, sheetrock, flooring and more."
Paul Cousineau, of Mediacom, was listed on the agenda as a visitor, but Flattum noted that he would not be appearing at any council meetings until a decision has been made at Mediacom's corporate office. This means that a proposal for Mediacom to offer its services within Fountain will be on hold.
Finally, Flattum stated she had attended the Preston emergency services volunteer appreciation dinner on June 19 and she realized how important it is to have people willing to volunteer their time to come to others' aid.