HG Village Board gets update on facilities plan

by Steve Ottman Review Correpondent

HOWARDS GROVE - Donahue & Associates representative Larry Krause presented a facilities plant plan amendment to the village board of Howards Grove at the bi-monthly board meeting Monday, April 6.

Krause stated that the last update for planning was in 1999 and the last plant upgrade was made in 2000-2001.

He outlined the plan needs, with a graph of population projections, evaluated existing equipment conditions and recommended shortterm and long-term improvements.

The population has showed steady growth with it flattening in recent years.

Krause summarized that the plant is in excellent condition. The short-term improvements are normal maintenance items and the long-term improvements are needed for anticipated population growth and maintaining existing permit limits.

The short-term needs include routine maintenance and rehabilitation of pumps and piping at the raw wastewater pump station.

Also a reconfiguration of the wet well to reduce the buildup of rags and grit. Preliminary treatment includes replacing of the fine screen, it lasts 12-15 years and grit removal.

Other improvements are structural repairs for mechanical components in plants 1, 2 and 4, new fine bubble diffusers, dissolved oxygen control and rehabilitation of fiberglass covers.

The aeration blowers are reaching the end of useful life and he recommended stage replacement of the blowers. Upgrades are needed to the alum storage, feed system and solids handling equipment.

Also the computers and SCADA was last upgraded in 2002 and the software isn’t compatible. Building services include an electrical system evaluation, storm sewer flood gate replacement, verifying and maintaining flood protection issues and a cleaning pad for the village street sweeper.

Long-term improvements included SCADA maintenance, replacing filtration system with a separate project to address phosphorus removal requirements, aeration system and aerobic digestion expansion and process equipment replacement.

Krause outlined projected construction costs of the updates at $1,822,000. He stated that funding is available from the WDNR at an interest rate of 2.25 percent with annual payment of $154,500.

The current user charge is $90 per quarter, which hasn’t changed since 2002. The projected increase would be about $26.42 per quarter.

This doesn’t include additional costs with additional expenses to help the wastewater utility pay for itself.

Krause concluded that the board will need to submit a report to the WDNR by May 2015, hold a public hearing by May or June of 2015, submit a design between May and December of 2015, begin construction by June of 2016 and complete construction by December of 2016, long-term improvements design (June 2020-December 2020) and construction (June 2021-December 2022).

Village President James Scheiber asked about grants. Krause explained that there may be money from the Focus on Energy Plan.

The board approved the plan to be submitted to the WDNR. Bryan Grunewald of Schenk and Associates presented the 2014 audit report. Grunewald stated the village is in good standing.

He discussed growth funds and graphs showing revenues. The TID 1 will project good revenue, overall the general fund is positive, however the water and sewer remains flat. TID 2 still has a lot of question marks.

Trustee Jeff Plass asked about the overall financial condition of the village and Grunewald gave a grade of a B.

The village has planned ahead well and kept its priorities in front of them.

Scheiber asked Grunewald to come back to a future finance meeting to discuss TID 2.

The Parks committee has recommended using Becker Fencing to replace the backstop, add spectator fencing and extend the dugout fencing at Memorial Park using funds from the park impact fees not to exceed $8,000.

The board approve the motion, stating that there are safety concerns that prompted immediate attention before the baseball season could begin.

Public Safety recommended that resident David Schmid pay his parking citation he presented the board at last month’s meeting.

Village engineer Don Albright discussed 2015 the road bid from Northeast Asphalt and recommended to reject the bid.

The county bid was submitted at a $60,000 cost savings and the village could contract with them separately.

Public Works Director Ryan Welsing presented numbers for the Sheboygan County radio upgrade purchase for the Howards Grove DPW and some financing options. Welsing stated that 8 mobile units, 2 portables and 2 base stations are needed at a cost of an estimated $22,000.

The board approved the special pricing purchases and planned to take advantage of financing options from the county that would start by April 2016.

The discussion on the purchasing policies for village property by other organizations was sent back to the finance committee for planning.

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