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Curtiss hears lagoon options

Village board members in Curtiss heard options last week for keeping the local sewer lagoons in operation while also keeping the DNR happy.

Mike Voss, an engineer with MSA, spoke with board members Feb. 4 about their lagoon system for the second time in as many meetings.

“Last time I talked about the groundwater elevation in relation to the ponds, and based on information from 2002, it looked like there wasn’t enough distance between the ponds to the groundwater, which meant that the DNR would want you to abandon those ponds,” he said.

Voss said it’s still possible for the ponds to be used, provided there is at least two feet of separation from the bottom of the pond and the groundwater.

To determine this, Voss suggested that the village excavate pits near the ponds to determine the seasonal high for groundwater.

“Depending on where that seasonal ground water is in relation to your ponds, we may say ‘Hey, we’re OK,’” he said.

Voss estimated that the cost of the excavation would be somewhere between $14,000 and $16,000 — a far more affordable option than having to upgrade or even build a new wastewater treatment plant that could cost several millions of dollars.

“The most economical treatment systems for you going forward is to really use those ponds,” Voss explained. “We really don’t want to abandon those ponds. We don’t want to strap you guys with a big mechanical wastewater treatment plant. Next meeting you definitely want to go ahead and make that decision for sure.” When asked by trustee John Unruh about other options, Voss said that a larger, mechanical wastewater treatment plan would be the only alternative.

Depending on where they find the season-high groundwater, Voss said the village may also have to put in monitoring wells to show the DNR that there isn’t any leeching or leakage into the water table.

Ultimately, Voss admitted that even with the excavation there is no guarantee that the village will be able to keep their ponds.

“That’s the problem with this, I can’t say that if you spend this money you can keep the ponds,” he said. “I can’t say that, I wish I could. You spend this money, and depending on what we find out, you might have to spend some more money.”

Other business

_ The board accepted a quote from Spectrum Insturance for property insurance in 2020, with a $2,000 increase in premiums over last year.

_ The board made a motion to reduce services from Bay Towel, so rugs will no longer be supplied at the community center.

_ The board was informed that a camera has been installed in the village office and is now working.