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BE spends $16K for lot for sewer lift station

By Staff | Apr 3, 2011

These sewer main pipes have been stacked up at the Faribault County Fairgrounds all winter. A decision last Monday means the pipes will soon be installed along North Main Street in Blue Earth.

A road block to a utility project on North Main Street in Blue Earth was cleared during a special City Council meeting last Monday night.

After a 15 minute closed session, the council voted unanimously to purchase a small piece of land for $16,000.

The 3/4 of an acre lot is located just south of the roadway to Blue Earth Locker and will be used to install a sewer lift station.

Last fall, construction on the sewer main upgrade project came to an abrupt halt when a dispute over easement rights erupted between the city and the property’s owner, James Meyers.

“We felt we had a utility easement in place in the roadway area,” City Administrator Kathy Bailey says. “Mr. Meyers disputed that claim.”

The City of Blue Earth voted Monday night to purchase this lot on North Main Street for $16,000, so a sewer lift station can be installed.

City Attorney David Frundt was negotiating with Meyers over the winter, but Frundt says Meyers was not interested in selling the land to the city at first.

Then, Frundt filed papers to begin condemnation proceedings on the property in question and as a result, Meyers returned to the negotiating table, Bailey says.

The purchase – and ensuing easement determinations – means the North Main Sewer project is cleared to continue this spring.

The work includes placing sewer lines to the businesses along North Main, from Detke-Morbec John Deere south to Moore Construction near the Blue Earth River. Three homes just north of Leland Parkway are also involved in the project.

Work last fall involved putting in a lift station near the residences, and new sewer lines through the county fairgrounds. A sewer main was also bored into place under the Blue Earth River.

“We had also run a sewer line under Main Street from the fairgrounds on the east side, to the site of the lift station on the west side,” Bailey says. “That is the reason we needed the specific location for the lift station, because the main was already bored under the street.”

The overall cost of the two phases of the North Main Sewer project is $360,000.

“This project is part of our efforts to comply with the mandate that all properties inside the city limits which have individual septic tank systems be hooked up to the city sewer system,” Bailey says. “This must be done by 2012.”