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Pequot Lakes: Council adopts wastewater treatment facility plan

The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 4, adopted a resolution approving an amended facilities plan on wastewater treatment facility effluent disposal options.

The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 4, adopted a resolution approving an amended facilities plan on wastewater treatment facility effluent disposal options.

City engineer Tim Houle of Widseth Smith Nolting explained the amended plan to the council. The plan is needed because the expansion of Highway 371 to four lanes east of downtown will affect the city's spray irrigation fields.

Using different funding estimate formulas and assuming the worst case scenario of the city not receiving any grants and no upfront investment from city savings, the council learned the cost would be an estimated $80,150 per year for 40 years to $109,800 per year for 20 years.

This worst case scenario would have residents' wastewater bills increasing an estimated $10 per month. It all depends on how much the city receives in funding assistance.

Estimated project costs use the row irrigation method, which would allow for future expansion of the business/industrial park and keeps all operations on the east side of the new highway.

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Total project cost is estimated at $1.63 million. That estimate is without several improvements the city indicated it would undertake.

Also, the council learned that current budget preparations show a preliminary levy increase of $167,000. The main factors for the increase are a decrease of $22,000 in local government aid, staff reorganizations, contract services and capital outlay expenditures, said Nancy Malecha, finance administrator/deputy city clerk.

Numbers will change, Malecha said. The council will meet Aug. 18 for a budget workshop when it will receive detailed information on each department's proposed budget.

Council members Jerry Akerson and Scott Pederson were absent from the Aug. 4 meeting.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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