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With new homes, schools coming, Horace asks for Fargo’s help treating sewage

The east side of Horace, N.D., is developed Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

HORACE, N.D. – With a new residential development and two new schools expected to cause the city’s sewage lagoons to exceed its capacity, city leaders here are asking Fargo to treat the overflow.

City Council members approved an agreement proposed by Fargo city staff on Monday, March 6, and the Fargo City Commission is scheduled to weigh in Monday, March 13.

Horace City Council member Bryan Schmidt said timing is critical because the new Lost River development would increase the number of homes in his city by 400, about 50 percent more than now exist. He said the West Fargo School District’s new middle school and high school would bring hundreds more to town.

Fargo city staff proposes to build a sewer line connecting a sewer line in north Horace to Fargo’s new lift station in the Deer Creek neighborhood. Horace will pay for this line along with $654,000 in upgrades to the lift station and larger sewer lines in Fargo. The city of Fargo is expected to pay for other upgrades as well.

Schmidt said the connection is expected to cost about $2 million, though he’s asked engineers to get a more precise figure.

Once service starts sometime in the fall, Horace will pay $3 per 1,000 gallons of sewage treated, which is projected to earn the city of Fargo $1.3 million per year.

Schmidt said the city ruled out expanding its existing sewage lagoons because the cost would be prohibitive.

Fargo’s sewage plant already treats sewage from some neighboring communities, such as Oxbow and Prairie Rose, and there is extra capacity.

Schmidt said the city of Horace hasn’t worked out how the agreement will affect utility rates, but he expects some of the costs will be absorbed by new construction as well as a 2 percent sales and use tax voters approved in November.

He said the city has been discussing expanding its sewage capacity for more than a decade, but a decision couldn’t be delayed. “Homes are going to start going up and they want to be able to flush toilets.”

Tu-Uyen Tran
Tran is an enterprise reporter with the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began his newspaper career in 1999 as a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, now owned by Forum Communications. He began working for the Forum in September 2014. Tran grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington.
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