Zimmerman council advances its plans for lift station

• Project costs more to replace and relocate but there are advantages

by Debbie Griffin

Contributing Writer

The Zimmerman City Council agreed at its April 7 meeting to take the next step toward replacing and moving sewer lift station No. 7 when it authorized the production of final engineering plans and specifications for the 2014 project.

Lift station 7 sits between City Hall and a residential yard, but the city owns a site 250 feet to the east – on the south side of Fremont Trail – where there is more room for the upgraded station. Once moved, the former lift station would become a manhole.

A preliminary estimate outlined potential costs for two options: $234,000 to rebuild it in the current location, and $256,000 to replace it and relocate it.

“That seems like a lot of money” Mayor Dave Earenfight said.

Public Works Director Dave Horvath agreed and said he’d expected estimates to be around $180,000. He said it was time to get real numbers, which a contractor can provide once the city has final engineering plans.

“Until we bid it out, we have no idea,” said Horvath about true project costs.

Horvath explained in a memo that increased demand pushes the lift station to capacity and beyond its limits to operate efficiently, so it should be replaced with new higher-capacity pumps and a force main. Horvath also said replacing it in the current site would require service interruptions, whereas moving it to the new location would not.


Zimmerman upgrades broadcast tools

A blown electrical transformer helped lead to the council’s decision April 7 to spend $72,510 from uncommitted reserves to replace Zimmerman’s 10-year-old TV-broadcast equipment. The transformer failed March 28, rendering the city unable to deliver live City Council meetings on cable TV.

The city had been planning to add the capability of streaming meetings live via the Internet, but it found the old equipment was incompatible for the addition. Council members had discussed an analog-to-digital upgrade in 2013, weighing the pros and cons of replacement versus repair.

“We’ve had numerous failures,” said City Administrator Randy Piasecki. “About every three months, something else breaks.”

The city’s cablecast expert, Dustin Hoeper, explained the two upgrade proposals and recommended accepting the lower bid of EPA Audio & Visual Inc.

Hoeper said the new system would be functional in about a month, including live broadcast of City Council meetings on cable TV and the Web. Meanwhile, city meetings are still being recorded.

The Zimmerman City Council on April 7 also:

•Agreed to change the protective-footwear policy to say that approved options eligible for the $100 reimbursement exclude steel-toed tennis shoes; footwear should be at least 6 inches high.

•Heard the March Sheriff’s report from Patrol Captain Bob Stangler, who summarized recent police activity in Zimmerman: No burglaries, one theft of a wallet from an unlocked vehicle, three gas drive-offs, one crash with injuries, 10 crashes with property damage, and a total of 388 calls for everything from traffic stops and complaints to medical issues and welfare checks.

•Listened as Fire Chief Ryan Maloney gave the March fire report and said unless rain comes soon, burning restrictions are likely to be put in place April 14. Also, the department is working with the county to test and debug its weather-siren alert system.

•Accepted the gift of a tapestry featuring historical images of Zimmerman. It is framed and hanging in the council chamber at City Hall.