Thursday, July 31, 2014
   
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Too much water causes lift station problems

Station carries wastewater under canal.

City officials are scratching their heads about how to repair a lift station that helps carry wastewater to the treatment plant.

The lift station, south of town, services businesses along Platte River Drive and the I-80 Pit Stop and Randazzle Cafe.

Gothenburg city administrator Bruce Clymer updated council members about the problem at their Nov. 2 meeting.

Instead of a gravity-flow sewer system, the lift station is needed to carry waste under the Cozad Canal.

The station is located north of I-80 Pit Stop next to the canal.

Heavy rains last spring caused groundwater to rise and blow out a plastic sump pump barrel from one of two pits in the station.

The first pit, which was damaged, has a grinder that chops waste. Clymer said waste then goes to the next pit where it’s pumped to the gravity-controlled sanitary sewer about a block north of the lift station.

Clymer said Monday the city crew replaced a damaged electrical motor.

“Everything else is functioning,” he explained. “We just need to get the hole in the bottom of the pit repaired so we can stop the infiltration of ground water.”

Despite the drilling of four dewatering wells at a cost of about $17,000, he said the groundwater level has dropped only about five feet.

Another one to two feet is needed to do the repairs, Clymer said.

He told the council that Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have been contacted to see if there’s public assistance available to pay for repairs.

Clymer said they plan to pour concrete into the hole left by the basin.

The city received a $800 bid from a firm that would supply and install the concrete.

“The river is so high, we can’t get the water down,” Clymer said, noting that they are also considering the placement of sand points around the station to absorb water.

Following a public hearing, the owners of Comfort Suites Hotel learned they can erect a large sign near Interstate 80 to advertise their hotel.

Council members approved a special use permit for Terry Jessen and Diana Unterseher to put up a large sign west of the hotel.

Because the sign is larger than what is permitted under city ordinance, the owners needed a special use permit.

On another matter, the city manager said he’s gathering prices from companies to try and fix the entrance sign on the south end of Gothenburg.

City officials are still trying to fix lettering on a stone directional and welcome sign on the southern edge of Gothenburg.

Some council members and city officials felt that letters initially etched into the stone were too small and didn’t show up.

“We’re getting pricing for the sign to try and fix it,” Clymer said.

Clymer said they are also considering the installation of

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