The Schuyler City Council recently unanimously approved a motion that would allow Mayor Jon Knutson to sign an agreement with Schuyler Community Schools regarding a storm sewer project.
The agreement permits workers to relocate a 48-inch storm sewer line that ran underneath a gravel parking lot, the site of what will eventually be a new gym, commons area and locker rooms as part of phase one of a multi-million dollar renovation of Schuyler Central High School.
City officials told SCS that before paving any parking lot, they would have to account for the new water that would be flowing through the line. Thus, the sewer needed a new location in order to not disrupt the flow of water.
“This storm sewer takes care of about 40 blocks,” Knutson said. “We said, ‘Because you’re adding so much water, our storm sewer has to be routed in such a way that would not add any great burden to that line.’”
However, the district had a difficult time finding the necessary parts for the new sewer. Had they not reached an agreement with the city, the issues with the sewer would have forced significant delays in construction of phase one. However, Knutson, City Engineer Steve Parr and Utility Superintendent Jim McGowen came up with an idea that would both save time and money.
“We could reroute this pipe and not only take care of our 40 blocks to the north, but also assure the school that they could get started (on the project),” Knutson said. “We were hoping to work with them to secure a good system for our citizens and not delay the project any further.”
The plan calls for the school district to cover $282,100 in order to curve the sewer line in between its football field and soccer field. Knutson said that thanks to the agreement, the storm sewer system will work better than it has in the past.
“In the long run, we will increase the size of a pipe, the school will then have a dedicated pipe for themselves and it should really make our storm sewer run off a better system,” Knutson said.
JEO Consulting will provide design specifications for the new sewer, something that Knutson does not believe should be a significant problem.
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“It’s going to be (a) straight west and straight south shot,” Knutson said. “We will secure some right of way through the school property (and) get an easement. We do have a pipe that runs into Lost Creek from there, but we’ll also increase the size of that. We don’t think there will be much of a problem with that.”
McGowen added that the goal is for the project to conclude early next year.
“We hope, depending on the contractor, that we could have it installed in early spring,” the utility superintendent said of the project’s completion. “We haven’t finished the plans and specs on it, and we are working with the school’s engineering and architects and the city’s engineers and architects because we want to make sure this is a route that will be favorable for both parties.”
Other meeting happenings:
*The council approved a motion to reallocate $16,300 from pool capital improvement projects to park capital improvement projects. Because repairs on the pool’s bathrooms have been delayed, the council decided to shift the money around to pay for new electric chargers for campers in the parks.
*The board approved a resolution adopting an amendment to the Owner/Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program Guidelines. The amendment, according to Knutson, redefines exactly who is eligible for funding through the program.
*The board approved the release of $3,000 to Schuyler Public Library’s sinking fund. According to Knutson, the funds will likely be used on technology upgrades.
Zach Roth is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at email@example.com.