St. James City Council passes pair of motions for wastewater projects

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

At Tuesday's St. James City Council meeting, the council passed a motion for a bid and design for a wastewater pre-treatment improvement project. 

"The major components we are looking to replace are the main lift pumps at the lift station and the bar screen," said John Grapman with Bolton & Menk. "Both of those are original to 1988 and were not replaced in 2010 like some of the other equipment."

Both the pumps and screen are well past the recommended 20-year life span.

"The pumps are one of the most critical components we have because they're what makes every drop of wastewater in the city get pumped and they keep your basements dry," said Graupman. 

The cost of the project is estimated at $2.0-$2.4 million and will replace four lift pumps and valving associated with the pumps, and the mechanical bar screen with a mechanical fine screen. The project will also add screening washer and compacter, as well as sandblasting and coating wetwell and interior paint repairs. Other miscellaneous electrical improvements will also be a part of the project.

The project will be financed with a revenue bond at 10-15. Bonding rates are currently around 1.5%.

Bidding will start in the late spring or early summer. Graupman anticipated a 12-month construction period.

After approving the motion for the wastewater pre-treatment project, the board passed a motion to replace Return Activated Sludge (RAS) pumps at the wastewater facility.

The current pumps are 30 years old and require repairs. The project will have three new pumps, including valves and piping.

The board accepted a bid from Minnesota Pump Works for $80,545.00.

The next St. James City Council meeting is scheduled for March 2.

Other items:

- Approve resolution for St. James Firefighter’s Relief Association retirement pension plan

- Approve resolution for the donation of $596.38 from the Eagles Club to Eagle Scout Project—placing mini-libraries around parks in St. James

- Obtaining quotes for water valves and meters

- Lutheran Social Services Meals Agreement- $925 yearly

- MN Movie Theater Relief Grant Program- $15,000 grant to help cover expenses. Most would go towards payroll expenses 

- Set interest for assessment consent agreement