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Rib Lake considers dome on sludge storage tank

Dome will reduce problems by keeping sludge from freezing, cost is $60,000 to $80,000

The Rib Lake Village Board at its meeting on February 12 discussed installing a non-insulated aluminum dome cover on the sludge storage tank at the wastewater treatment plant to help reduce operational difficulties due to freezing.

Pat Morrow from MSA Professional Services told the board the sludge storage tank had weathered last year with very little freezing problems, but this year there has been a problem with the liquid in the tank freezing around the telescopic valve. He said because the tank is on an elevation, the winter wind across the top of the tank cools down the sludge faster then it normally would. The cover would stop the wind from doing that.

Morrow said he has been in contact with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) construction management engineer for the new sewer plant project who said he is in favor of adding the cover to the tank. Cost of the dome itself would be $60,000. Morrow said when you factor in engineering cost to design the cover so it fit and construction cost, the total cost could be as much as $100,000, although he thought the cost would more likely be closer to $80,000.

Morrow said DNR officials in Madison have not finalized the documents to close the project, so technically Rib Lake’s sewer plant is still an active project. He said MSA has been working with Staab Construction and the DNR to see if they can have the cover added as a change order to the original contract for the project and use left over contingency funds to cover the cost. Morrow said it would be more cost efficient to have Staab install the cover, since the company was familiar with the project and would have the least amount of site preparation cost.

In addition to the cover, Morrow said MSA has been working with the public works department on several other small modifications, such as putting the transfer pumps on timers so every hour a small amount of sludge is pumped from the digester into the sludge tank. He said just that little bit of movement would be enough to prevent the ice that does form from becoming too thick that it could damage the telescopic valve.

He said another modification under consideration is installing duckbill check valves on the sludge discharge pipe outlets to reduce the amount of cool air in the sludge tank from working its way back up into the pipe to cause freezing.

Morrow said the third modification under consideration is tapping into the air line for the diffusers in the tank and install a small diffuser aeration ring around the telescopic valve. He said that would prevent ice from forming around the valve or if it did, the ice would not be very thick.

Morrow said regardless of whether or not the dome is placed over the sludge tank, both he and public works director Tom Olson would like to see the timers, duckbill check valves and diffuser ring installed to reduce icing problems.

While he said he wasn’t opposed to the cover, trustee Russ Bullis said it was a lot of money to spend for something that was only needed a few months a year, but if it was needed to make the plant run right, then the village should spend the money, noting that Rib Lake never had sludge storage before and this was something new for them.

Morrow said there wasn’t enough information yet about the change order for the village to make a decision yet, but hoped to have it by the next board meeting.

The board reviewed the results of the inspection of Well No. 1 by Municipal Well & Pump of Waupun.

The summary of the report said the column pipe was pitted and corroded along its entire length and needed to be replaced. The motor on the pump also needed to be rebuilt. The well televising indicted there was considerable scale deposit/build up throughout the well casing and well screen which needed to be brushed and chemically treated, after which the well would be disinfected with a chlorine solution.

Estimated cost of replacing the column pipe and its associated hardware is $8,684. Cleaning and disinfecting the well casing would cost $8,392 for a total of $17,076. Since the motor is 40 years old, Van Hecker recommended the village purchase a new motor rather than rebuilding the current one at an additional cost of approximately $4,000.

Olson said by installing a new pump that is more effi cient, the village would save on electric costs and it would reduce the amount of time it would take to replenish the water used from the water tower.

The board approved making the recommended repairs, including purchasing a new motor for the pump.

Van Hecker said after Well No. 1 is put back into service, Municipal Well will wait a length of time to see if any problems or issues develop before taking Well No. 2 out of service for inspection and possible repairs.

The board approved the purchase of a dashboard camera, radar system, siren, speaker and weapons system for the squad car and an AR-15 rifle for the police department at an approximate cost of $5,500.

Bullis said all of the items for the squad car were discussed as being in need of replacing or upgrading at last month’s meeting. He said the AR-15 was added in regards to the school safety program. Bullis said if an issue were to arise at the school, police chief Derek Beckstrand would have the means to handle the situation, if he should be required to, before assistance arrived from other departments.

The board transferred money to cover the cost from the contingency fund to the police department’s budget at last month’s meeting.

Bob Rusch asked the board to consider revising the railroad history project for the village hall to add four more photos.

The project as approved by the board last year was for five photos and two maps to be enlarged to poster size and mounted on the walls of the hallway leading to the restrooms. Rusch said he wanted to expand the original project because it had not include the depot (where the Catholic church is) and engine house (where Cindy Hanke’s gas station is) in Rib Lake. He said based on the cost he was quoted for the other photos, the additional photos would cost $600 ($150 for each photo) with the explanation boards for the photos costing an additional $115. Rusch said he would confirm the price with the printer and come back to the board for finally approval. The board approved his revision request.

John Hein addressed the board concerning the recreational ice skating rink. He said due to a variety of reason, he will no longer make the ice for the rink. He said the rink is worthy of continued effort and support and he will provide advise, guidance and encouragement for those who wish to continue with it.

Trustee Vernell Van Hecker asked if anyone uses the rink, adding every time he goes by, there is no one there.

Hein said the rink is mainly used by middle and high school students playing broom hockey during physical education classes. He agreed the public doesn’t use the facility as much as it used to, noting at one time there were high school and adult hockey nights held twice a week and that it was not unusual to have 20 people skating at one time. He attributed the decline in use to a change in society where people have too many demands placed on their time.

Hein said since the rink is located on school property on what was once a gravel parking lot, he was going to make the same appeal to the school district at its February 13 meeting to keep the rink open. The board felt the rink was a worthwhile project and would be willing to continue working with the school district if it wanted to continue the rink.

The ice skating rink has been available for public use since 1989.