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Crosby sets priorities for $8.3 million in surge funds

Posted 6/16/15 (Tue)

By John D. Taylor
Crosby’s city council approved two items during a special meeting Friday morning, one related to how it will use the $8.3 million in surge money the city received courtesy of legislators earlier this year, the other as a means of improving the city’s ability to handle wastewater.
“Not in my 33 years with the city have we had that much money to do all these things,” he said. “This is a major, major thing for the city. This is a positive thing for us. We can improve and repair lots of what was damaged as a result of oil activity,” said Mayor Bert Anderson.
Anderson said the city doesn’t intend to spend surge money on the building of a new daycare. While he believes the daycare might possibly fall under a broad definition of infrastructure, the daycare is not on the council’s list of projects.
“The city will help as much as it can, with all that we can with the daycare,” Anderson said. “We realize the importance of this.”
According to Anderson, the council has established several major priorities for this money. These include:
nStreets -- Pavement, streets curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
nFire hydrants and shut off valves.
nSewer lines – The city intends to look at six blocks of older sewer lines, which according to city public works employee Steve Hurley, are still in clay tile pipes.
“The city council will ultimately decide what to do,” Anderson said. “We could also add street lights – more decorative lights to supplement the existing lights – to that list, but that’s an option, it’s been discussed.”
“Next summer will be a busy time with construction, and whole blocks being paved. There will be some short term inconveniences to get some long term benefits,” he said,  thinking out loud what it would look like if sidewalks were torn up and 2 inches of rainfall fell.
Getting a start
The council on Friday approved spending $3,100 to pay Kemper Construction of Minot, to use a special camera that will be run through the six blocks of city sewer lines the council intends to replace next summer to determine where the problem areas are located and how to best resolve the problems.
The city must clean out the sewer lines before the camera is run through the line, but spending this money now will actually save money for the city in the long run.
“With the cameras,” Anderson said, “we can replace only those lines that need replacing.”
The sewer line camera will isolate the specific problem areas and save the city from tearing up more streets and sewer lines than are necessary, Anderson said.
Sewer lines are part of the “major city infrastructure” the city intends to improve with the $8.3 million it received from the state as part of the surge bill earlier this spring.
The second item council approved at the special meeting was a $40,000 change order to use slip forms to place around the new lift station the city wants to install at the city lagoon.
The lift station is to be installed near the white building already located there.
Initially, according to City Engineer Antonio Conti, 30-foot deep core samples from the surrounding ground indicated it would be possible to site the lift station there without special provisions during its installation.
However, since the 2-inch rainfall that fell a couple of weekends ago, water levels have risen, the ground became saturated and workers cannot safely install the lift station without drying out the ground around it. The slip forms will allow workers to install them, pump the water out from around the area, let it dry out, then install the lift station.
Conti said the city would not bear any more costs than what the contractor is charged to install the forms and complete the work according to the original schedule. This work is scheduled to take place this week.