Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Sanitary board grants extension to contractor

by Chris Schultz

July 28, 2011

Lyons Township — The Lyons Sanitary District 2 transferred operations to its new treatment plant on June 1, but details still need to be cleaned up.

The Lyons Sanitary District 2 Board, at its July 16 meeting, agreed to a 30-day contract extension with Miron Construction of Neenah to put the finishing touches on the $4 million project. The contract deadline was July 15. The penalty for exceeding the deadline is $250 a day, said board chairman James DeLuca.

The old treatment plant building also needs to be razed and the land cleared.

Among the problems, the grass on the landscaping is not taking, an air intake is noisy and a water pipe that looks like it was damaged on installation.

"I'm trying to be nice, but I want to get this done," DeLuca said. "If they can't get these issues resolved in 30 days, then the penalty will kick in back to the July deadline," he said.

DeLuca also said he's concerned about getting enough results on an income survey to determine whether the district qualifies for a Community Development Block Grant.

DeLuca said of the 448 households within the district boundaries, 226 must be in the low-to-moderate income level for the district to qualify for a block grant to help defray the cost of construction.

Part of the problem may be that residents within the district who are not yet on district sewer may not believe they should respond. The board will take one more shot at getting the necessary results.

Post construction grants are rare, but not unheard of, DeLuca said.

The district officially broke ground on the new plant on July 1, 2010.

Like the old plant, the new plant treats sewage from both the Lyons Sanitary District, and the Country Estates Sanitary District. Both districts are within, but do not serve, the entire town of Lyons.

The new plant has three buildings, an administration building, a process building and a building to serve as a garage, workshop and for storage. Its capacity is 207,000 gallons per day, more than double the capacity of the old plant. The facility is expected to provide treatment for both Lyons and Country Estates districts for at least the next two decades.

The Lyons district received a 20-year, $2.7 million loan at 2.2 percent interest through the state Department of Natural Resources Clean Water Fund.

Country Estates secured a $1.45 million Wisconsin Rural Water Construction loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It also received a $3.1 million grant for updating sewer pipes and manholes.

The state Department of Natural Resources required Lyons to upgrade its treatment plant after several incidents in which the plant failed to meet standards. At one point, in 2005, the plant's operating permit was briefly revoked.

While none of the incidents resulted in pollutants being released into the air or water, the DNR determined that the failures were the result of the treatment plant's age.