Public information meeting concerning proposed water and sewer project held at Redfield Armory
By Shiloh Appel
On Thursday, October 25th, at 7 p.m., the Redfield City Council and Helms and Associates held a public information meeting at the Redfield Armory concerning the proposed water and sewer project for Redfield. Those presenting information on the project included Bob Babcock, principle engineer of Helms and Associates; Leif Redinger, also an engineer for Helms and Associates; Jennifer Sietsema, a community development specialist with NECOG; Mayor Jayme Akin; and City Finance Officer, Adam Hansen.
The water and sewer project was first proposed to the Redfield City Council on October 1st by Helms and Associates after recommendations were made last winter. It consists of a number of different options for the improvement of the Redfield water and sewer systems. The most initially controversial option among Redfield residents would include the replacement of all old water and sewer pipes, a project that would increase the surcharge on water and sewer bills for Redfield residents by roughly 40 dollars a month for the next 40 years. Other alternatives include leaving the water and sewer systems as they are; "televising" the systems (inspecting them by passing a camera through them) and cleaning them; and expanding the system at SDDC.
Approximately 50 Redfield citizens were present at the meeting. As the evening began, Mayor Jayme Akin took a straw poll to see how many of those present were against the proposed water and sewer project. Approximately half of those present indicated that they were against the project by raise of hands. After the meeting commenced, however, several citizens expressed a change of mind.
During the meeting, Leif Redinger presented two preliminary engineering reports, one on the Redfield drinking water system, and one on the sanitary sewer system. In Redinger's report on Redfield's water system it was noted that the current water system has no known deficiencies. The "do nothing" option was recommended by Helms and Associates for the drinking water system. However, in the sanitary sewer system report, Helms and Associates said they identified several issues. Issues that were presented included excessive infiltration and inflow, root growth in services and mainlines, cracked, broken and missing pipe, updates needed for the lift station and "wastewater treatment loading concerns." The recommended projects by Helms and Associates for the sanitary sewer system included bypassing the piping, cleaning and televising the piping, a complete replacement of clay pipes with CIPP/PVC, improving the Main Lift Station and installing SCADA (an alarm system technology that allows operation flexibility). The total estimated proposed project cost was $13,000,000 according to the report.
After the reports were presented, Helms and Associates opened the floor for questions. Hansen also handed out a utility bill comparison report on Redfield and surrounding towns (see box above).
"We are one of the few communities left in the northeast part of the state that hasn't gone down this road," said Mayor Jayme Akin.