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Wendy Reuer, Published July 22 2013

Moorhead OKs plan to curb foul smell from lift stations

MOORHEAD – The City Council approved a five-year, $4.6 million capital improvement plan on Monday for its wastewater lift stations.

The improvement plan includes building three $564,000 sites dedicated to curbing a foul smell that is sometimes omitted from some of the city’s 49 lift stations.

The buildings would be injection sites to drop into the city’s sewers ferrous chloride, which prevents hydrogen sulfide gas from entering the atmosphere. The sulfuric gas often creates a rotten-egg stink for surrounding areas.

The improvement plan also dedicates $1.4 million to improvements at the No. 1 lift station at 911 5th Ave. N.

City Engineer Bob Zimmerman has recommended the city use general obligation revenue bonds backed by gradual increases in wastewater rates to pay for the improvements.

Wastewater rates would increase by 8 percent in 2014, 7 percent in 2015, 3 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017. The city would use reserves to absorb some of the increase, Zimmerman said.

The average resident now pays about $22 a month in wastewater rates, Zimmerman said. The proposed increases would mean monthly rates of about $24 next year, $26 in 2015, $27 in 2016 and $28 in 2017.

Council members unanimously approved the plan as part of its consent agenda on Monday.

Zimmerman asked the council to approve a financing option by next month.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530