Pond decommissioning will delay future street work

While residential street projects have garnered most of Tracy residents’ attention over the last few years, there is another project north of town that has gone somewhat unnoticed. And the most recent phase of that project will put up a detour on the progress of the former.

The City is in the process of decommissioning its outdated ponds and properly disposing of biosolids collected in the ponds, per requirements from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Action needs to be taken by this October. Bidding will take place this spring; the estimated cost of the project will be in the $3.6 million range.

Therein lies the problem.

“You will have to bid this project,” Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen said, “and to be candid, what’s happening here is we have to decommission the ponds — and we have Phase 3 and Phase 4, and we don’t have enough money to do all of it because the pond decommissioning costs more than what we anticipated. But we’re up against a bit of a time table because we have to be completed in the first part of 2023, or some of our grant funding goes away. We have two years to finish this, so we need to do it now.”

Because the pond decommissioning was slated for Phase 2, it is the City’s main priority. That means portions of Phase 3 and Phase 4 are not going to be done for a number of years.

“I know that’s hard to swallow because we’ve been telling the public this project was going to happen, but it’s not going to happen exactly like it was supposed to,” Hansen said. “It’s not good news, because it means that some of the project won’t be done right away, but it will get done eventually.”

Phase 3A-2, which will take place this year, is fully funded and will be completed, Hansen said. It’s the future phases of the project that are in jeopardy and will not take place as anticipated. Hansen said this situation is like a jigsaw puzzle that involves roads that need to be addressed with the city.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.