Dam construction should begin in September

By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer

Construction of the new dams as part of Concordia's long-planned flood control project should begin in September of this year City Manager Larry Uri told Commissioners Wednesday evening.
After a meeting with KLA Environmental Services engineers Wednesday, Uri showed a video of a more precise view of the flood control area – the dams at 21st Street and Plum Road, and both structures' ponds and spillway areas.
Uri said the engineers hope to complete the final design of the project by next month, and then submit the necessary permits in early March. Should all go as planned, he said, permits should be issued by June with bids let and opened in June or early July. From there, construction is planned to begin on Sept. 1, 2013.
If the weather cooperates, Uri said, the project could be done as soon as early 2014. The engineers plan to have it completed by no later than June 2014. Both dams will be bid at the same time, but the dam at Plum Road will have to be constructed first.
In the various planning documents, a road has been planned running north and south through the project area – which would connect Broadway Street with College Drive. Last night, Uri recommended doing away with construction of the road at this point in time.
He suggested waiting to see if a commercial development could be landed that would be large enough to supplement the construction of the road. He said the City should not "build a road we don't know if we need."
Uri also reported that there could be enough dirt left in the area – after dam construction – to fill in the lots on the east side of the project area. The two lots along Highway 81 are owned by the City and MSMT, LLC. Bringing those two lots up to grade, and readying them for sale will be the first priority if there is leftover dirt, Uri said. If there is enough dirt left from that portion, he said it would be used to start filling in the drainage ditch on the south side of the project area. It could also be possible to do the dirtwork on Cloud County Community College's piece of land, which is south of the Pawnee Mental Health building. That area is slated to become a parking lot.
"Overall, we received a favorable report," Uri said of the meeting with engineers.
The Commission approved spending $7,550 to replace the main electrical panel at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Uri said when doing a monthly test of the facility's generator, a malfunction of a part ruined the panel. Upon investigation by Gale Newton of Newton Electric, he found that the main service to the plant, which is from the 1950s, needs to be replaced. The part that failed was made in 1974, and has not been made by any company since 1983.
Newton submitted an estimate of $7,550 to completely rebuild the panel. Uri said it is in need of immediate repair, because the WWTP is currently operating with a temporary electrical panel, and if it fails, the whole plant would be without power.
The Commission also conducted a public hearing and passed a number of resolutions to allow Monte Wentz to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation.
Wentz plans to use the grant to rehabilitate the building at 101 East Sixth Street, more commonly known as the Harris Building. His plan is to repair exterior electrical service; stabilize sidewalk walls; restore the steps; sidewalk vault lights and exterior doors; tuck pointing brick and stone work; window restoration; replacement of exterior metal work; exterior painting; asbestos abatement; add emergency and exit lights; and upgrade the HVAC, electrical and plumbing.
Wentz is requesting $249,500 in CDBG funds, and will contribute $83,793. The grant application is required to be sponsored by a municipality, but the City will not be liable for providing any funds, Uri said.
The Commission adjourned to a study session to discuss the airport master plan, specifications for an Animal Control vehicle, and a grant proposal. The Commission will meet again Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. for a study session to discuss the future plans of the City.


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