Friday, June 22, 2018
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Council looks at payment options for sewer repairs

The Gothenburg City Council got a recent peek at how a large sewer repair project might be funded.

At their May 21 meeting, members also learned that $100,000 in Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality revolving loan funds could be available to help pay for $2.2 million in repairs.

Reed Miller, president of Miller & Associates Consulting Engineers of Kearney, said the project could also receive an extra .25% decrease in interest because it qualifies as a “green” project.

If granted, Miller said the interest rate would be 2.25% yearly for 20 years.

To qualify for the funds, a public hearing is required where the cost of the project and how it could impact users in terms of sewer rates will be discussed.

During the meeting, council members looked at proposed loan schedules to pay off the projects.

Community members will get a chance to comment on the projects and funding options during the council’s next meeting on June 4.

The proposed projects include:

Area I: Fourth Street between Highway 47 and the tail race—$371,800.

Because of groundwater infiltration, this project has the highest priority. The majority of the work would be sewer replacement.

Area II: Fourth Street between Highway 47 and Cottonwood Drive—$51,800. The price is less than the first project because a liner, instead of sewer replacement, can be used.

Area III: On Cottonwood Drive along the city’s wastewater treatment plant—$69,500. Installation of a liner is proposed.

Area IV: From the wastewater treatment plant and across Highway 30 (including a third highway crossing) to 11th Street—up to $1,740,300 to replace existing sewer. The high cost is because of pavement removal and replacement costs.

Council members decided to combine the first three areas into one project with a projected cost of $493,100.

Clymer said repairing sewer in those three areas will have the most impact in eliminating groundwater inflows into the sewer system.

On another matter, members approved an inter-governmental agreement between the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the city to reconstruct Lake Helen.

NDEQ will provide $286,431 with another $133,000 for alum treatment if it’s needed to reduce the amount of the nutrient phosphorus in the lake.

The council also agreed to an application for an owner-occupied housing grant for five homes.

Clymer said 15 people applied for the program, which will fund repairs up to $25,000 per home with a five-year forgivable loan per family.

Full application is due July 19.

In other business, the council:

granted a request for Bike Ride Across Nebraska riders to take showers at the city pool Tuesday, June 4, when the group stays overnight in Gothenburg.

Council members also agreed to providing extra security around the high school and practice field, where participants will camp, and to close 15th Street in front of the Pony Express Station that afternoon when participants in a Tractor Relay Across Nebraska will make a stop.

okayed a request to place a cement market on the northeast corner of Lake Avenue and Highway 30 commemorating the Lincoln HIghway which is celebrating its centennial this year. Commemorative medallions will be placed on the marker.

permitted the children of Patrick LaFleur to operate a sno-cone business from their home at 1721 Ave. D this summer. The request was approved by the planning and zoning commission, that also stipulated that signage about the business be temporary, and acted on by the council following a public hearing.

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