A detour for Phase 3

ISG Engineer Kyle Renneke spoke to the Tracy City Council on Monday about plans to change the scope of the planned Phase 3A infrastructure project. Photo / Per Peterson

With an MPCA deadline looming, Tracy City Council moves to change gears on planned street work and focus on decommissioning of ponds, Center St.

By Per Peterson

The Tracy City Council on Monday moved to readjust the scope of the Phase 3A-3 and Phase 3A-4 street and utility projects.

That means the focus will shift to a complete pond decommissioning, as required by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and partnering with Lyon County to replace failing utilities under Center St., which would coincide with the County’s street reconstruction work, which was delayed until the County lined up funding for it. Additional side streets or sanitary sewer lining work with the Center St. project will also take place as remaining funds allow.

“Essentially what this does is take the money that we already have and reallocates it to different priorities — the pond decommissioning and Center Street,” Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen said.

Phase 3A includes four parts. Phases 3A-1 and 3A-2 are either complete or are under construction. According to minutes from Monday’s council meeting, in October 2020 it came to the attention of the mayor and the city administrator that the city is out of compliance with MPCA regulations because it had yet to complete the decommissioning of the old wastewater evaporation ponds. The pond decommissioning project had originally been part of Phase 2 of the project, but the bids came back higher than the engineer’s estimate, thus pausing the project. Also, Phase 3A-1 costs came back higher than the original engineer’s estimate. The cost escalations of both projects have left the City without enough funds to complete Phase 3A-3 and Phase 3A-4 as originally contemplated.

“What we’re proposing is rather than doing Phase 3A-3 and 3A-4, focus the amount of funds that are budgeted right now for that sanitary sewer project on the absolute required work by the MPCA,” said Kyle Renneke of ISG.

Phase 3A-3 was planned for full reconstruction (street and utilities), and Phase 3A-4 was just sanitary sewer pipe rehabilitation, without street work at the original time slated for the project.

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