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Fairmont talks streets, projects

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont City Council took care of several items for their first meeting Tuesday.

The council passed a resolution to accept an engineering report for the proposed 2021 Improvement Program after hearing from Troy Nemmers, Fairmont city engineer/public works director. The council also set a public hearing concerning the report for 5:30 p.m. January 25, 2021.

Proposed projects include reconstruction work on Fairlakes Avenue, extending the street 600 feet south to Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center’s new parking lot. As part of that, the street will also be resurfaced from Woodland Avenue to Canyon Drive.

Also up for resurfacing are Holland Street from Lucia Avenue to West Anna Street and the Amber Lake Park parking lot. Also included in the project list were various overlay and seal coat projects.

In another matter, the council passed a resolution to advertise for bids on a Lime Pond Closure project. Nemmers explained the issue.

“The city’s former lime ponds located west of town haven’t been used since the new water treatment plant was built in 2013,” he said. “During the time they were operational, the city had a permit with the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) to store the lime solids at that location, as well as to discharge water from the facility.

“With the facility becoming no longer operational, we are looking to eliminate that permit. The requirements for eliminating that permit are that we need to do something with the lime that’s been dumped there for the last 60 years. So we approached the MPCA on how to do that in 2014, and they created a process for the city to go through to evaluate whether or not the lime ponds could be capped in place and the lime left to lay, or if all the lime needed to be excavated out of the ponds.”

Nemmers shared that the feasible option ended up being to cap the lime ponds in place. That would involve putting down a layer of clay and dirt on top to encapsulate the lime, keeping it where it is. The estimated cost for the project is $6 million.

In other action the council:

— Passed a resolution to advertise for bids on Industrial Water Tower coatings. The City needs interior repairs and painting to be completed on the industrial water tower located west of County Road 39 between Green Plains and CHS. The timeline for this project is very constrained as it must coincide with a planned CHS shut down this spring. The plans and specifications for this project are ready for advertising.

— Passed a resolution approving a 17.1 percent water rate increase and a 6.4 percent sewer rate increase. The board also approved a $3 City Wide Cleanup charge that includes $1.50 for Citywide Clean Up and $1.50 for Tree Dump Maintenance and Leaf Pickup. According to Paul Hoye, city finance director, the combined total of all three rate increases is just over $10 per month.

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