Council approves language for west side sewer project

By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor

The Caledonia City Council made several changes in the proposed pressure sewer extension agreement with Gary Kruckow of Bonanza Grain during the Jan. 23 council meeting.

During the Dec. 12 council meeting, a motion was made and approved to prepare plans, obtain permits and bids and construct a pressure sewer main for Bonanza Grain at an estimated cost of $37,500.

The city had received a request for sewer service from Kruckow after he had been notified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) that his sewer system was out of compliance.

Bonanza Grain was one of six property owners that are located on the west side of Highways 76/44 that are not connected to the city’s sanitary sewer system.

The other properties include the Diane Opsahl home, Kraus Country Store, Wiebke Tire, Meyer Garden and Caledonia Lumber.

At the Dec. 12 meeting Kruckow said the only concern he had was if he would go ahead with the pressure sewer system by himself and the city did decide to move forward with the much larger gravity system, if he would receive some compensation for his investment in the other system.

Mayor Bob Burns suggested that the city should be able to come up with a workable contract, where the life of the pressure system would be prorated over a 20-year period. If the city moves forward with the larger gravity system, Kruckow would be compensated on a prorated basis.

After reviewing the proposed contract during the Jan. 23 meeting Councilman Tom Murphy said he felt the 20-year period was too lengthy and suggested a 10-year limit. Councilman Paul Fisch said he felt all easements along the utility route needed to be secured as well.

A motion was made by Murphy and seconded by Fisch to approve the agreement with the 20-year period changed to a 10-year period and that all easements had to be in place. It was unanimously approved.

In other council action:

 Highway 44 project

City Coordinator Mike Gerardy provided the council with the latest cost estimates for the city’s share of the Highway 44 rehab project, which will begin this summer in Caledonia.

According to the memo from Mn/DOT, the city’s share of the project, which includes 16 street lights and the walking path along the east side of the highway would be $144,860. Of that amount, approximately $90,000 would be for the wiring and installation of the street lights. That portion will come out of the Electric Department fund. The balance, which is between $40,000 and $45,000, could either be bonded for or come out of the hospital fund, which currently has a balance of $265,000.

A motion by Burns and seconded by Councilman Bob Lemke to approve the project and the estimated costs was unanimously approved.

Library computers

The council unanimously approved a motion to purchase two new computers for the public library.

City Clerk/Administrator Jennifer Feely explained that Library Director Marla Burns was told by the SELCO computer technician who performs maintenance on the library’s computers, that the two computers used by library staff need to be replaced. The computers that are replaced will be put out on the library floor for patrons to use.

The cost of the two computers is approximately $1,230.

Feely was asked if the computers could be purchased from a local business. She indicated that they had to go through SELCO for this purchase.

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