Winfield recognized with grant in Earth Day event
By Megan Myers
The USDA Rural Development Office honored Winfield in a special Earth Day event at City Hall on April 25.
The event was held to recognize the city’s efforts to improve its compliance with the EPA’s Clean Water Act by upgrading its wastewater treatment plant.
The USDA recently awarded the city a $4.2 million loan to fund the project through its Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program.
The facility plan, which calls for replacing the lift station at the ballpark and modifying an existing lagoon into three cells for better treatment, received approval from the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission in January.
The project is being designed by MECO Engineering, and is expected to reach construction phase in about one year.
At the Earth Day event, Winfield Mayor Ryan Ruckel said that besides keeping the city in compliance with evolving wastewater regulations, the project will also allow the city to continue to grow and develop.
He said Winfield has seen 17 percent business growth in the last two years, and census data shows that between 2000 and 2010, the population grew by nearly 50 percent.
“This is actually so much bigger to us than just compliance,” he said. “This will double our sewer capacity and give us another 15 years of growth capacity throughout our community.”
Phyllis Minner, USDA rural development area director, attended the event and presented Ruckel with a certificate awarding the loan to the city.
“We congratulate the city,” she said. “You’re taking steps to maintain compliance with the ever-changing DNR regulations and EPA regulations.”
Minner said the rural Development Office has invested over $110 million in Lincoln County over the last five years.
“That’s a lot of money we bring in taxpayer dollars,” she said.
Ruckel said he hopes efforts like the wastewater project will help to improve the city’s image.
“Winfield is becoming a center of attention in Lincoln County, and we intend to challenge the county’s vision of what Winfield is in the next five years to put us on the map in a different way than in the past,” he said.
Attending the Earth Day event in Winfield were, from left: Julie Rodgers, Lincoln County Economic Development assistant; Jim Bensman, vice president of MECO engineering; Roschelle Eaton, Winfield city clerk; Mike Mueller, Lincoln County Associate Commissioner; Winfield Mayor Ryan Ruckel; Dan Colbert, Lincoln County presiding commissioner; Phyllis Minner, USDA area director; Mike Hartman, USDA Rural Development area specialist; Bill Bauer, Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce chairman; Krishna Kunapareddy, Boonslick Regional Planning Commission; Jay Gourley, Lincoln County project coordinator; Larry Tucker, director of Lincoln County Economic Development. Megan Myers photo.
Pittsfield embarking on $300k sewer main project
By Matt Dutton Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 8, 2017 10:20 pm
PITTSFIELD, Ill. — The city of Pittsfield will soon embark on a $300,000 sewer main project.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a $27,000 construction management and observation agreement with MECO Engineering of Hannibal, Mo., to install a new sewer main at the KDI Industrial Park in Pittsfield’s Tax Increment Financing District 1.
Pittsfield Mayor John Hayden said he is looking forward to seeing the project get started.
The council also approved the purchase of a used $135,000 sewer jetter. Sewer jetters are high-pressure pieces of equipment used to clean drains and clear obstructions in sewer systems. By buying a used jetter, the city was able to pay less than half the price of a new one.
Hayden said a new sewer jetter typically costs $300,000 to $400,000. The model the city purchased is manufactured in 2007.
The council approved a new electric contract that will save $70,000 over the next three years, Hayden said. The renewed contract with Direct Energy will apply to all city accounts.
The council also appointed Glenna D. Pruitt as the city’s new park ranger Tuesday night.
Council members were shown a law enforcement video of an ALICE training session. ALICE training is an active shooter response training drill in which law enforcement officers simulate a school shooting scenario.
“It was nice for the council to get to see the training, but I hope that’s a situation that never happens,” Hayden said.
FEMA finally signs off on Marion County’s alternate bridge proposal
MECO Engineering to Continue with Bridge Design
Construction of a new Marion County bridge with the help of federal funds will be moving forward after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave the project its blessing earlier this month.
The project is like none the county has sought funding for previously since the bridge to be replaced – on County Road 104 – is not in the same location as the span for which the county plans to use the federal compensation – on County Road 117. The 124-foot County Road 117 bridge was swept away during July 2015 flooding. The Marion County Commission proposed using federal compensation to help pay for the new County Road 104 bridge because the daily traffic volume across the County Road 117 span was low, and the projected cost of replacing the bridge ($800,000 and $1 million) was high.
The existing County Road 104 bridge, which was built in 1925, has a 13-ton weight limit.According to Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner, FEMA has approved $83,442.83 for the new bridge. The remaining cost of the new structure will be covered by county capital improvement sales tax funds.
Whatever amount the county winds up paying to complete the County Road 104 bridge, Marion County will be able to apply for “soft match” credits for the Bridge Replacement Off-System (BRO) program, which is administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation.
When a county pays for all or part of the cost of a replacement bridge that expense is considered “soft match” money which can then be applied as the 20 percent local match required by the BRO program, provided the “soft match” bridge is built to state specifications. While waiting for FEMA’s funding decision the county has been busy on other fronts related to the project.
Because the County Commission had already identified the County Road 104 bridge as another priority span to be replaced, regardless of the availability of federal funds, MECO Engineering has already been doing design work on the new structure.
In March the county announced that Marilyn Wenneker had signed the documents necessary to donate the right of way and temporary easement the county needs for the County Road 104 bridge, which is called the Wenneker Bridge.
Teya Stice, county coordinator, has already begun pursuing the permits necessary to push forward.
“We have to have all our permits, but we always have to have those anyway,” she said during the April 10 meeting of the County Commission at the courthouse in Palmyra.
Avoiding lag times will be essential to the project, according to Stice.
“We have to have it done by Nov. 30,” she said. The seven month off deadline does not have Stice fretting.
“We can file for an extension to get the project completed,” said Stice.
By Danny Henley
Hannibal Courier-Post reporter