Weather Forecast


Perham selects consulting firms for wastewater project

Perham is another step closer to expanding its wastewater treatment plant.

The Perham City Council approved proposals from Design Tree Engineering and Bolton and Menk Engineers and Surveyors for consulting services on the proposed expansion of the city's wastewater treatment facility.

At a special meeting on Jan. 28, the council approved the consulting services of both firms, Bolton-Menk, a longstanding firm with offices in Mankato, Willmar, Brainerd and more; and Design Tree, a young, growing company with offices in Alexandria and St. Cloud.

Requesting proposals for the project will save the city money in the long run, according to Kelcey Klemm. The city had submitted a grant application to the state for funding, but was turned down, leading the council to hire an engineering firm that will also help acquire funding for the project.

According to the city's capital improvement plan, the first two phases are expected to be complete in the 2011-2015 fiscal years. The first phase of the project has a price tag of $2.24 million. The second phase, slated for 2012, is set to cost $3.4 million.

The consulting firms also work with other government entities to secure funding for the project. References for Design Tree were glowing, Klemm said. Cities like Battle Lake and Lowry have used the firm's services.

"Bolton-Menk has the experience behind them," Klemm said. "They're the big guy on the block in southern Minnesota."

Both firms have a history of securing funding for similar projects, Klemm said, with Bolton-Mink already allocated funding for another project with new Beneficial Use of Wastewater monies from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Public Works Supervisor Mearle Meece said he was comfortable with the decision and said it wasn't uncommon to bring in outside firms for standalone projects such as these.

One thing that still needs to be done is coming to agreement on rates and fees to industrial users in the city such as Bongards', Klemm said.