Waste bid $2M under estimate
Moorhead will spend $9 million to update and replace equipment in the part of its wastewater treatment plant that processes solid waste. The current solid waste system has been in place since 1983, which means it's lasted a number of years longer...
Moorhead will spend $9 million to update and replace equipment in the part of its wastewater treatment plant that processes solid waste.
The current solid waste system has been in place since 1983, which means it's lasted a number of years longer than is typically expected, City Engineer Bob Zimmerman said.
The project is routine maintenance "on a large scale," he said. "It's a pretty major overhaul of that portion of the plant."
This area of the facility treats the "residual solids" left over after city wastewater is treated and released back into the Red River. After treatment, the remaining matter contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which, in turn, means it has what Zimmerman calls "fertilizer value." It is then spread out onto fields.
The winning bid was made by Contracting Inc. of Fargo and is about $2 million less than the original estimate.
Moorhead City Manager Bruce Messelt said he's "excited" about the savings on the project and also about the low bids on the Moorhead Sports Center renovation that saved "Moorhead taxpayers literally millions of dollars," he said.
Moorhead approved bids on the Sports Center in February.
The city will pay for the project through a state "revolving fund loan" at 2 percent interest, Zimmerman said. And he expects customers' rate increases will not exceed 3 percent.
Further, customers "will not notice any interruption to service at all," Zimmerman said.
Moorhead's entire wastewater plant cost
$20 million to build in 1983, Zimmerman said. Solid waste treatment capacities account for about a third of plant space and dollars. Even so, Zimmerman says it's less expensive to replace portions of the facility than to build a new one.
"It's really preserving the investment that was made 25 years ago," he said.
A 2006 study found that Moorhead's wastewater plant has the capacity to handle the city's growth until 2030, Zimmerman said.
He expects construct to begin June 1. It likely won't be completed until the end of 2008.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734