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, 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.
This page will provide routine updates on the construction of this exciting project. MECO has worked diligently since 2008 on the development of a regional approach to providing a reliable and quality water supply source to the Howard County region.
The formation of the HCRWC in April 2008 paved the way for the planning and development of this important project for the members of the Commission. The new system, comprised of four major components: alluvial well field, water treatment plant, water tower, and distribution mains, will serve more than 7,000 people when complete. As the HCRWC’s Engineer, MECO played an integral part of the planning process preparing studies and reports, assisted the Commission with land acquisition, completed design, plans, specifications and construction documents. Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued the construction permit and financing of the project was finalized.
USDA-Rural Development (RD) extended approval to the Commission to solicit bids for the $12.3 million project (construction) during a ceremony held in New Franklin on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. Financing was a cooperative effort between USDA-RD and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. RDs funding commitment included $7,442,000 in low interest loans and $6,455,000 in grant funds to the HCRWC, and CDBG awarded $500,000 to each of the three members (Fayette, New Franklin, Howard County CPWSD #1).
Bids were opened July 8, 2015, with contract awards totaling $12,549,386. Total project costs, including the 4 construction contracts, planning/engineering, legal, land acquisition, and other related costs are estimated at $15,570,000.
As construction gets underway on this exciting project, we will post progress updates and photos. This first aerial view identifies the site of the new water treatment plant prior to construction groundbreaking.
Stay tuned for future updates and photos that will keep you up to date with construction progress. Thanks for joining us on this exciting journey!
Once again, MECO had an exceptional experience a the MRWA Fall Conference for the Office Professionals and Operators at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, MO. The week was full of activities, socials, and of course, lots of networking. Our booth was busy throughout and we want to thank each and everyone who took the time to stop by and chat and maybe learn something new about MECO.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended our Kick-Off Social on the patio Wednesday afternoon. Once again, we enjoyed serving a large crowd, seeing old friends and making new ones. Whoever ordered the weather, thanks!! The day was perfect and the beverages were cold. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
During the conference, we participated in MRWA’s door prize drawing and are pleased to announce the winners of those drawings:
Office Professionals: Thomasa Chapman of Jackson County PWSD #15 (fall arrangement on antique door)Operators: Jesse Howell of Thomas Hill PWSD #1 (Camo wheeled cooler)
In addition to these drawings, we tried something a bit different this year, sending out a pre-conference mailer with a ticket. All that was required was coming by the booth during exhibit hall hours to say hi and drop the ticket in the basket, you didn’t even have to be present to win! We really appreciate the response and all of the kind comments. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Again, we saw many of our friends and met many new ones.
Winners of the gift card drawings were:
Office Professionals: Janice Howard, Callaway 2 Water District