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By LeAnn R. Ralph
GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City Council approved a new 20-year sewer agreement with the Village of Downing at Monday night’s meeting.
After the initial 20-year period, the agreement will be reviewed every five years, said Kevin Oium of Cedar Corporation.
For between six months and a year, the agreement has been a work in progress among the city’s attorney, the city’s auditor, Downing officials, city staff and Mayor John Larson, he said.
Downing currently has 97 users (17 percent), and Glenwood City has 490 users (83) percent.
According to the agreement, Downing will notify the city by December 31 of each year about the number of users for the wastewater treatment system.
The village will pay Glenwood City $2,300 per year for the equipment replacement fund, which is required by the Clean Water Fund, according to the agreement.
The village will pay Glenwood City quarterly for the sewage pumped into the wastewater treatment plant and for all expenditures, including repairs, insurance, general maintenance, testing, labor and other “like expenses” based on the percentage of users from the previous year, the agreement states.
Downing reviewed the sewer agreement at the village board’s meeting last Monday and then approved the agreement with no changes, Oium said.
The Glenwood City Council unanimously approved the sewer agreement with Downing.
The Glenwood City Council also held a public hearing Monday evening as part of the requirement for the $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds awarded for the wastewater treatment project.
No members of the public spoke at the public hearing.
Construction started in April and will come to a halt in mid-November, Oium said.
The work includes berms in the artificial wetland to help with alum dosing to bind phosphorus as a way to assist with the city’s new phosphorus limit of 1.3 milligrams per liter, Oium said.
The wastewater treatment lagoons have been in operation since 1983, and the work also will include removing sludge from all three ponds, he said.
New blowers were added for the aeration system, and the wastewater treatment facility has a new backup generator as well, Oium said.
Between 400 acres and 500 acres have been secured as places to spread the sludge, which will be moved by drag lines and pumped to the fields, he said.
The project will be completed next year, and the close-out documents must be finished by December 31, 2020, Oium said.
At a rate of 90 percent covered by the state and 10 percent covered by Glenwood City, the city council agreed an application for a portion of the new $75 million in grant money available from the state Department of Transportation would be too good to pass up.
Most of the grant money will be going to townships, cities and villages, Oium said.
On the other hand, Glenwood City stands no chance at all of securing any of the grant money if the city does not apply, he said.
All together, $18 million will be awarded to cities and villages, with the remainder going to townships.
The minimum project cost is $250,000, and the maximum project cost to be eligible for the grant is $3.5 million, Oium said.
Grant awards will be announced in February 2020, and the application deadline is December 6. Recipients will have six years to spend the funds, he said.
The grant awards are intended to improve economic development, connectivity and safety, Oium said.
The project submitted for the grant would focus on a pedestrian crossing from the school district across state Highway 170 and an eight to 10-foot wide asphalt paved pathway, improvements to the bridge and connection with Hinman Park, he said.
The project could include an overhead pedestrian walkway by the school or a tunnel under Highway 170, Oium said.
The cost of a similar project considered in 2014 was $450,000, he noted.
The project would require wetland mitigation as well, and Oium suggested buying into a “mitigation bank” which requires a ratio of one to two — two acres, for example, of wetland mitigation for every one acre that is disturbed.
Tim Johnson, school district administrator, also attended the city council meeting and was in support of the project.
Johnson wondered if there was a way to control the speed of traffic on Highway 170 and reduce the amount of road subject to a 45 mile per hour speed limit.
Since 170 is a state highway, the city or the school district would have to petition the state about a change in speed limits, Oium said.
A tunnel or a pedestrian overpass would add at least $200,000 to the project, he said, noting the tunnel would be similar to the pedestrian tunnel on the east side of Menomonie near the hospital.
Johnson said he liked the idea of a tunnel.
The Glenwood City school district qualifies with the state Department of Public Instruction as having hazardous road conditions, and the designation could be helpful to demonstrate a need on the grant application, Johnson said.
In other business, the Glenwood City Council:
• Approved pay request No. 5 for August Winter & Sons in the amount of $413,003 for the wastewater treatment plant project.
• Approved an application for a cigarette license for Wood City Ventures LLC.
• Approved referring a variance application for John Stahl to the Glenwood City Zoning Board of Appeals.
• Approved paying the 2020 summer recreation appropriation in January of 2020.
At the conclusion of the regular business on the agenda, the Glenwood City Council went into closed session to discuss employee wages and benefits. When contacted by telephone Tuesday morning, Sharon Rosenow, city clerk-treasurer, said there was nothing to report from the closed session.