Phase I project expected to start this spring

By Seth Schmidt

A consulting engineer has told the Tracy City Council that a contractor “wants to start as soon as the weather allows” on Tracy’s planned Phase I infrastructure project.
Chris Larson, I&S Group, Mankato, said Duinick Inc. was in the process of signing contracts and eager to start work.  The Prinsburg contractor was awarded a $3,256,112 contract in January.
The project will involve sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main, and street reconstruction, in an area that runs roughly between Central Park and northeast city limits towards the site of planned new sewage lagoons.  Part of the work will involve removing a large sewer that runs across private property, and placing it into public right-of-way.  The removal of clear drainage water from the sanitary sewer is also a major component of the project.
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Larson also reported that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the federal Environmental Protection Agency had come to an agreement on a discharge limit for phosphorus, which will clear that way for a discharge permit for the new sewage lagoons.  This agreement, which Larson said in the end was a matter of “semantics,” will allow the process for seeking bids on the Phase 2 sewage pond construction, so work can begin soon.
In a separate report, Public Works Director Shane Daniels said that attempts are being made for verbal approval of the wastewater pond bidding specifications, so the city can seek bids in “the prime window” for competitive bids this spring.
Another bit of “good news” for the city, Larson said, is that the MPCA has agreed to consider allowing new development “on a case by case basis,” in light of the sewer extension moratorium that has long been in effect for Tracy, because of its deficient wastewater system.
Larson also reported the “televising” of underground city utilities has been completed.  The information will be used to “develop a priority list” for possible “Phase 3” infrastructure improvements.
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The council approved a final payment to Duininck for work done on the 2015 Morgan and Fourth street infrastructure.  The only remaining retainage is $5,000 for turf restoration work on city boulevards.
“The only thing left is to see if the grass comes up this spring,” Larson said.