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DL council approves$16.3 million state loan for wastewater plant

Moving another step closer to the start of construction on Detroit Lakes' new $30 million, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, the DL City Council approved a $16.3 million project loan agreement with the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority at its regular meeting Tuesday.

According to City Finance Officer Pam Slifka, the General Obligation Sewer Revenue Note, Series 2018A, was offered by the MPFA at an extremely good interest rate of just under 1.1 percent, to be repaid over the next 20 years.

Detroit Lakes Public Utilities General Manager Vernell Roberts says construction of the new wastewater facility, which will be built on the same Willow Street site as the existing plant, is expected to begin this spring, and will take approximately 2½ years to complete.

Back in November, the council approved a contract with Rice Lake Construction for the wastewater treatment plant project. The Deerwood, Minn., construction company was the low bidder on the project, at $28,654,200; though the project bids came in lower than expected, they did not include things like construction manager's fees, engineering costs and contingencies, which will drive the overall cost of the project closer to the original estimate of $34.4 million. The balance of the cost will be paid via state grant funding of up to $17 million, which was secured via state legislation last summer.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council approved donation requests for two upcoming community projects at city-owned facilities: Construction of a new Boys & Girls Club facility at Lyle Crovisier Park, and cart path improvements at the Detroit Country Club's Lakeview course.

The city will fund the DCC cart path improvements through a $100,000 donation from the Liquor Fund, to be paid out over the next two years.

The council also agreed to make a $300,000 contribution toward the Boys & Girls Club building project, including $175,000 from the city's food and beverage tax fund to be used for parking lot improvements; a $50,000 contribution from the city's park dedication fund for playground and basketball court facilities; a $25,000 in-kind contribution from Detroit Lakes Public Utilities for installation of parking lot lighting; and $50,000 in additional cash contributions over the next five years.

The council is also eyeing a $175,000 contribution to the Becker County Museum building project from the food and beverage fund, also for parking lot improvements, as well as another $25,000 in-kind contribution from the DLPU for parking lot lighting. However, approval of that donation was deferred temporarily; according to City Administrator Kelcey Klemm, food and beverage tax funds can only be used for improvements to city-owned property, while the land where the proposed parking improvements are being proposed is owned by the museum. Therefore, the city and museum will need to work out the land ownership issue before the city's contribution toward the project can be finalized.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 17 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454