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City will see $9M in projects

By Staff | Apr 11, 2010

The City of Elmore will be getting a facelift of sorts in the next couple of years.

While some of the improvements won’t be visible when completed, one thing is certain — it’s going to cost millions of dollars and they are long overdue.

“The funding turned out better than I had hoped. The projects are necessary and needed,” says City Clerk Dianne Nowak.

The four projects total $9 million and two of them are scheduled to get under way this year.

Work on the city’s wastewater ponds will begin in June or July and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2011.

“We’ve been helping the city with grant applications and engineering plans,” says city engineer Wes Brown of Bolton & Menk in Blue Earth.

Next year, a treatment facility and water tower will be constructed.

In addition, 20 blocks of water and sewer main systems will be replaced.

Brown says some of the mains were installed in the 1950s.

“It’s areas where aging has caused the mains to leak and deteriorate,” he adds.

Federal and state funding in the amount of $7.7 million will help pay for the improvements. Some of the money comes from President Obama’s stimulus package and the USDA’s Rural Development program.

Nowak says about 32 percent of the funding is by way of a loan. She says there is still about $580,000 or 8 percent of the project cost that must be covered.

“The council has given me approval to apply for the rest of that through a grant from DEED (Department of Employmentand Economic Development and other grants is necessary,” she says.

Bids on a another project totaling $1.3 million will be let on Thursday and work could start in mid-May.

County Engineer John McDonald says repairs will be in a five-block area located near the school.

“It will be complete reconstruction … infrastructure and roads,” he says.

The city will be responsible for $600,000 of the cost — improvements considered non-road items.

McDonald says $700,000 is money from gasoline taxes paid by motorists.

Nowak says assessments, user fees and property taxes will have to be used to cover the remaining balance.