Watertown City Council did a work session on Wastewater Facility Investments

WATERTOWN, S.D.(KXLG)- City Council scheduled a “work session” to discuss multiple large projects labeled “Planning for the Next 20 Years – Proposed Wastewate Facility Investments.” Public Works Director Heath VonEye worked with various department supervisors to go over a presentation with project background, project schedule, WWTP improvements, and collection system improvements.

VonEye introduced Al Erickson and Michael Johnson with HDR Engineering, Mike Boerger Wasterwater Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent Craig Mitchell, and City Engineer Marci Lewno in place for Justin Peterson.

Voneye talks about why planning for the future is so essential.

Watertown, in total, has 135 miles of sewer pipe and 48 lift stations, which are used in situations where the gravity does not push the water towards the plant. In the presentation is a breakdown of the facilities operation. The original building was constructed in the 1930s, with additional sections of the facility being built in the 1960s and significant expansions in the late 1990s and 2010s. There is also a grant for over $8 million and an SRF loan for over $19 million.

VonEye discusses the funding.

Councilman Vilhauer inquired why the county received over $5 million; City Manager Amanda Mack said it is based on population.

VonEye educates the Council about the rate increase.

Danforth confirms after the grants; the remaining funds will be paid through the user surcharge fees and the enterprise fund. They will not come out of any capital fund. Erickson says parts of the building were made to last 20 years, and they’ve been there for 30 years.

The official contract with HDR will seek final approval at the August 15th meeting.