Lagoon, fire update, sewer

Carbon County JPB hears waste treatment lagoon near completion, water amount produced to fight mill fire, hydrant issues, SES sewer replacement


Photo courtesy of Jon Nelson

Workers replace a valve in the lift station at the Saratoga wastewater treatment plant.

During their regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. on May 9 at the Saratoga Town Hall, Department of Public Works director Jon Winter gave the Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board updates on the ongoing lagoon project north of Saratoga and the amount of water used to fight the recent mill fire. The joint powers board also discussed the lack of adequate fire hydrants at Medicine Waters mobile home park and a sewer replacement project at Saratoga Elementary School (SES).

Before hearing an update from Winter on the lagoon project, the board discussed a piece of correspondence from the group American Transparency. According to their website, the Illinois based group aims to track and record government spending from the federal level down to the municipal level.

"At the governor's business council meeting last year, individuals from this organization were guest speakers and stood up and started calling out names," said Joe Parsons, joint powers board member. "They're calling out names in highly publicized events."

Parsons added the group seems to be currently focused on joint powers boards and special districts and that conservation districts have begun to comply, as much as they were able to. Other members of the board asked Parsons if he would be able to share examples at a later time of policies from other boards that address fees for requests for vendor information.

Winter informed the members of the joint powers board the project was sitting at 59 percent completion. He added that the project appeared it would be completed on budget with approximately $40,000 remaining. A proposed change order for the project pertaining to installing conduit between the blower and chlorine buildings at the lagoon would bring that remaining total down to $33,000.

Jon Nelson, project manager for American West Construction, also gave an update to the board on the lagoon project. According to Nelson, some electrical issues currently exist with the starter for two of the blowers. Not only is the starter old, but was wired wrong according to electricians working on the project resulting in the starter constantly being engaged.

"How's the overall feel of the project. Is everything relatively going according to plan or are there a lot of surprises?" asked Craig Kopasz, joint powers board member.

"There really have not been that many surprises," replied Nelson.

The final discussion with the lagoon project before moving on centered around a pole barn that had originally been included in the contract for the project, but had been removed. According to Winter, he believed that there was still enough left in the budget that the pole barn could be erected, albeit without electrical for outlets and floodlights, to protect the contact chamber at the lagoon. Without the structure it was likely the contact chamber could freeze and provide serious issues during the winter.

With one member voting in disapproval, the board made the decision to be kept informed by email of updates with the pole barn and its cost with the price not to exceed the projected balance.

During his monthly report, Winter informed the joint powers board that 9 million gallons of water had been produced during the month of April. Winter added approximately 1 million gallons had been used during the mill fire and that all five wells were being used during the fire. Russell Waldner, joint powers board member, suggested the possibility of a generator that could run all five wells be looked into and added Carbon Power and Light could collect data for the purpose of determining the size.

The discussion then lead to Medicine Waters mobile home park and the property's lack of adequate fire hydrants. Richard Raymer, the town council's representative on the joint powers board, informed the other board members that while the property originally had three lines, it now only has one six inch line that goes to a single hydrant. According to Kopaz, Medicine Waters is at capacity and the lack of fire hydrants presents a safety issue, but as the property is on its own system it was suggested that the mobile home park is responsible for having adequate fire suppression systems in place.

The board moved onto the plan to replace the sewer line at SES. The current sewer line, which is constructed of clay tile, was originally installed in 1961 and has presented issues for the school. The plan presented to the board by Kopasz involved replacing the old sewer line with an 8 inch PVC sewer main that will tie to the existing main.

Kopasz informed the board that he wanted to submit a request for a permit to the Department of Environmental Quality via Engineering Associates. It was his hope to have the project started in July and finished by August before the new school year begins. With Kopasz abstaining, the board voted to proceed with plans for Engineering Associates to replace the SES sewer line.

With no other business to conduct, the joint powers board adjourned. The next regular meeting for the Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board will be at 6 p.m. on June 13 at the Saratoga Town Hall.

Photo courtesy of Jon Nelson

Crews remove portions of the lift station piping in order to install new valves


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