Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Village Applies for Grant for New Treatment Plant

After a presentation by Paul Gont of SEH Engineering, about a proposed upgrade to the village's wastewater treatment plant, the Baldwin Village Board agreed to apply for a grant from the state's clean water fund to help pay for it and to proceed with preparing plans and specifications
for the new treatment plant.

The action came at the board's regular monthly meeting last Wednesday.

Gont told board members that the estimate for construction of the new plant is about $4,500,000, plus engineering fees. Of that amount, the village has about $1,100,000 in funds from user fees and impact fees. The projected impact of the new plant on existing homeowners is about a 30% increase, said Gont.

Among the points discussed by Gont were the need for a generator at the plant; and the possibility of a storage garage being constructed as part of the project.

Gont said the process to prepare the specifications and plans for the plant takes about six months, or approximately to June of 2008.

Following that is an approximately two month approval process and then the Village Board will have to make a decision on whether to go ahead with building the project.

Board members questioned Gont on the amount of engineering fees, which are just short of a million dollars. He noted that as a percentage of the project it is about normal. Trustee Duane Russett said the amount seemed extremely high but Village President Don McGee said the percentage seemed the same as the last treatment plant project.

The motion to proceed with preparing the plans and specifications carried on a voice vote with no one voting no.

In other business at the meeting:
-The board voted for final acceptance of the fourth addition to Berkseth Heights and to reduce the developer's letter of credit.

-With the upgrade of USH 63 through Baldwin, the Department of Transportation is taking over the outside lanes of the highway through the village and they will be used as travel lanes. At present they are parking lanes through most of the village. In preparation for that action, the
board voted to end parking on USH 63 in the village effective April 1.

Village Engineer Mike Stoffel noted that the bid to do the work has been awarded to Monarchfor $3,800,000 but the start date has not been firmly set.

-Stoffel said the village's newly formed Urban Forest Board has met and made some changes in a proposed ordinance, mainly increasing the species acceptable for planting in the village. The board approved the ordinance.

-Two candidates for the newly created fourth judicial branch for St. Croix County spoke to board members. They were: Howard Cameron and Mark Gherty.