More sewer improvements planned in FD

Another $15 million worth of sanitary sewer upgrades is being readied in Fort Dodge.

The City Council on Monday awarded a couple of big contracts to McClure Engineering Co., of Fort Dodge, to prepare all the necessary plans for a round of improvements that will continue work that started in about 2013.

The company will be paid $840,950 to prepare the plans for sanitary sewer improvements along 13th Avenue South and in the area of Duncombe Elementary School at 16th Street and Sixth Avenue North.

The company will also prepare the plans for spot repairs, new sewer pipe linings and manhole upgrades throughout the city.

The company was awarded a separate $293,000 contract to prepare plans for replacing a sanitary sewer lift station that’s near North 11th Street. A lift station pumps wastewater through the sewers to the wastewater treatment plant on Avenue B.

The $840,950 contract was awarded on a 5-1 vote.

Councilmembers Kim Alstott, Dave Flattery, Jeff Halter, Terry Moehnke and Lydia Schurr voted yes.

Councilman Dean Hill voted no.

“Money for these projects has not been approved yet,” he said. “To me, this is getting the cart before the horse.”

Councilman Neven Conrad was absent.

The $293,000 contract was approved unanimously with Conrad absent.

Since 2013, the city government has spent about $30 million on sanitary sewer upgrades. Preventing wastewater from backing up into homes during heavy rains has been a major goal of the effort.

“It’s a great project,” Mayor Matt Bemrich said. “It’s definitely working.”

He said some residents have told him that their basements are staying dry even during the recent heavy rains.

For years, city public works crews had to set up portable pumps to remove water from sanitary sewers during rain storms. Typically, the pumps had to be placed at 23 manholes. But this year, there have been just four manholes that needed to be pumped out.

“The work is paying off,” Bemrich said.