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Belle Fourche approves $1.83M Day Street Lift Station replacement

December 19, 2018

BELLE FOURCHE –– The Belle Fourche City Council approved a resolution Monday authorizing it to proceed with procuring financing to replace the Day Street Lift Station on the north end of town.

The council held a public hearing during which Chris Robinson, with HDR Engineering, described the scope of the lift station project. The Rapid City-based engineering firm has worked with the city throughout the construction of the Eighth Avenue sewer interceptor project since summer 2017.

Robinson explained that the public hearing was a requirement of the State Revolving Fund (SRF) funding the city is in the process of applying for. SRF is a fund administered by the state for the purpose of providing low-interest loans for investments in water and sanitation infrastructure.

The current lift station was built in 1980.

“It serves most of the city’s wastewater needs; all of the wastewater flows by gravity to this one pumping facility, and then from there it is pumped to your lagoon facility for treatment,” Robinson said. “It’s been in service for almost 40 years now, so pumps, parts, electrical equipment, stuff like that, are getting harder to service.”

Additionally, the station’s steel shell is rusting away, he said.

The new Day Street Lift Station is to be constructed beside the current one on the end of Day Street where it meets the Belle Fourche River. This way, the current lift station will continue to service its customers while the new one is constructed and allow for a more seamless transition.

The new lift station, Robinson said, will have three times the pumping capacity.

“To serve future growth within the city,” he said. “The reason for that is to protect the environment against any backups or overflows.”

Robinson said that the current facility struggles to keep up during wet weather events.

“So this new facility will be able to meet those needs without risking any overflows into the Belle Fourche River, or worse, backups into basements,” he said.

The below-ground lift station the city currently utilizes, Robinson said, can be difficult for city crews to maintain, as it has limited space.

“The new facility will (have) submersible-style pumps that are on rails that can be pulled up out of the station and serviced at ground level,” he said. “It will be safer for the city crews to be getting in and out of this facility.”

In addition to a new concrete structure, the project will include new pumps and controls, new standby power source, and other miscellaneous improvements. Robinson said that he anticipates uninterrupted service throughout the duration of the project.

Complying with other requirements of the SRF loan application process, Robinson said he and the city looked at other potential locations and designs and eventually decided the current location and new design were best suited for the city and budget.

The total project cost, including engineering, is $1.836 million.

Robinson said the firm will be moving forward with the project’s design, coordinating coordination with S.D. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), S.D. Game, Fish, and Parks, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Robinson said the city intends to apply for SRF loans to fund the entire project cost.

The funds are federal, and DENR is tasked with administering them. A 2.5 percent interest rate will accompany the 20-year loan.

“The revenue source … is going to be a sewer improvement fee that customers are already paying,” he said. “So we do not anticipate any rate increases as part of this project.”

The funding application is due by the end of the year. When the funding is in place, Robinson said, he anticipates the project to be bid in April 2019 to get a contractor selected, “And start the work as soon as they are able.”

The construction schedule is slated to be May through October 2019.

Councilman Monte Talkington moved to approve the resolution. Councilman Randy Schmidt seconded, and the council unanimously voted to approve.

Finance Officer Breanna Schafer told the Pioneer Monday that the city has $100,000 budgeted in 2018 funds and $1,250,000 budgeted in 2019 for the project.

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