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Curtiss may need new ponds

MSA engineer Mike Voss warned the village board of Curtiss during its monthly meeting on Jan. 7 that their sewer treatment ponds might not be up to DNR standards.

Voss said the village’s stabilization ponds have issues with the depth of groundwater at the wastewater treatment plant site.

“That’s kind of become a snag in our facility planning,” Voss said, Voss told the board that groundwater monitoring was performed, and it was found that groundwater existed about three feet below the bottom of the pond.

“It may be that we can’t bring those stabilization ponds up to code if the groundwater has risen at all,” Voss said. “If the groundwater is at the same elevation as it is now, to use those ponds, you’ll have to line those ponds, and that’s very expensive.”

Voss said he is working to figure out what the village can do to show the DNR that the ponds can continue to be used without any modifications that would remove ammonia and adapt the ponds for additional treatments.

If the ponds are unable to be used, Voss suggested several ways the village could deal with the abundance of phosphorus, such as nutrient sharing, or construction of a sludge activation pond.

Trustee Betty Rettig asked about the cost of lining the ponds versus building a sludge pond. Voss said the sludge pond would cost several million dollars.

“We’re working with the DNR to find out what they’re going to require and if it make sense to go that way,” Voss said. “So we’re waiting on more definitive information from the DNR to see how we should proceed.”

Other business

_ Village resident Kris Erdman spoke to the board during public comments, clarifying that she and her husband Randy do not want to have a contract or be required to maintain upkeep on an alley that runs by their property.

Erdman said she only offered to put gravel on the alley if it was a cost the village did not want to take on, and that she only wants to be able to use the alley when they are blocked due to events at the Community Center.

_ The board voted to renew its membership in the Wisconsin Rural Water Association for $315.

_ The board approved a monthly clothing allowance of $50 for DPW Larry Swarr. The board also chose to cancel the services offered by Bay Towel, choosing instead to purchase their own rugs for the office and Community Center.

_ The board approved a list of items requested by DPW Swarr, with the exceptions of a air exchange system at the water treatment plant. The board also tabled a discussion on the Abbyland Foods pork plant not being billed for weekend flows.

_ The board approved a motion to appoint Jane Stoiber, Betty Rettig, Robert May and Kris Erdman as the 2020 election board.