Motley looks at alternatives to water treatment plant

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Trident Seafoods was not pleased with its portion of the $5 million price tag it would be required to pay for a new water treatment plant in Motley. John Graupman from Bolton & Menk Inc. in Baxter brought three new options to alleviate Motley’s brown water problems to the City Council Monday night.

“These alternatives came from revised flow projections received from Trident July 19. Its (water) flow projections were reduced by approximately 20 percent,” said Graupman.

The original plan included a partition in the clearwell for water storage to feed the reverse osmosis (RO) and a second partition for the final treated water.

The first option, and most expensive, to the original plan would be a concrete gravity filter with no RO provisions. Any future RO treatment would require a new building and storage tank. The savings over the original design is about $95,000 or 30 percent. The savings to the building comes to about $160,000 for a smaller room.

The advantages the concrete gravity filters provide are:

• Most efficient aeration;

• Longest detention time;

• Additional clearwell storage;

• Efficient and flexible iron and manganese removal;

• Longest life of the alternatives; and

• Lowest life cycle costs.

Graupman said the one disadvantage is it has the highest construction cost at $4.715 million.

The second alternative presented was a water treatment plant with new steel gravity filters with no RO provisions.

The advantages to this option are:

• Efficient aeration and detention time;

• Additional clearwell storage; and

• Efficient iron and manganese removal.

The disadvantages include  higher construction costs than pressure filters and a shorter life than concrete filters. The cost is estimated at just below $4 million.

Alternative number three was constructing a new clearwell and rehabilitating the existing filter on Motley’s water treatment plant. It would include a new ground storage tank, pumps, lab and office area. The existing building and equipment would be upgraded.

The estimated cost of the third option would be $2.24 million.

The cost of the project will be divided between the city, Trident and Morey’s Seafood.  The city will pick up 22 percent, Morey’s will pay 25 percent and Trident’s share is 53 percent.

Graupman estimated the construction to be completed in 12 months.

Council Member Pat O’Regan said that representatives from Trident had not been heard from concerning what they wanted.

“We need them on board for this decision,” he said.

“Trident is waiting for a third-party review before they make a decision,” said Clerk Treasurer Terri Smith.

A work session which will include representatives from both Trident and Morey’s will be scheduled when the review is received.

Maintenance Supervisor Wayne Barros said he would like to locate better water in the city. He suggested the city have test wells drilled at about $1,000 per hole with a limit of $15,000 to locate a better aquifer.

“There are several areas with good potential,” Barros said.

The council agreed and no decision was made on the three alternative water treatment plants suggested by Graupman.

Motley City Council briefs 

Other business conducted by the Motley City Council Tuesday night included:

• Discussing Trident Seafoods’ desire to dig its own well, plus purchase half its water needs from the city. To do so, the city would have to change its ordinance which states it is unlawful for entities with municipal water to construct their own well for human consumption. If the water is not for human consumption, there cannot be any means of cross-connection between the two water supplies. The ordinance also requires all buildings within the city to connect to the municipal water system;

• Hearing from Aric Welch from Widseth Smith Nolting Engineers that the areas not producing grass from the 2011 street project have poor top soil and more discussion will have to take place with the contractor before the problem is resolved;

• Also learning from Welch there is a dip in the sewer line constructed in 2012 which is holding water. Welch said specifications say that if the dip is in excess of 25 percent (it’s at 30 percent), the contractor must fix it. An alternative to that would be a reduction of $10,000 in the amount the city owes the contractor. The Council voted to accept the reduction to the final cost of the project, leave the dip and monitor it annually;

• Learning that the Minnesota Department of Transportation is the only governing body that is able to reduce a speed limit on a residential street to less than 30 miles per hour;

• Requesting Police Chief Brian Madison choose two intersections on Third Avenue that need stop signs;

• Voting to create a committee to look into rewriting the city’s weed ordinance after complaints from residents that the current ordinance is not enforced fairly;

• Voting to allow the police department to purchase a bulletproof vest at $1,089.86;

• Hearing two residents are having problems with deer eating their gardens and landscaping and that they would like the city to reduce the population, possibly with establishing a bowhunting policy within city limits. Mayor Nancy Nieken asked Madison to bring information from the Department of Natural Resources to the next meeting;

• Voting to approve the school resource officer agreement with the Staples Motley Schools;

• Voting to donate $200 to purchase food for a Park Day, set up by the city’s maintenance department. Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Bruce Brotherton would like to have children help install a patio and do repairs at Converse Park, giving them a feeling of ownership. The event will also include games and more; and

• Learning that Maintenance Supervisor Wayne Barros plans to retire in January 2014.

The next City Council meeting will be held at the Motley City Hall Tuesday, Sept. 10, beginning at 7 p.m.

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