The City Council has scheduled a Waste Water Public Forum (Facebook) for Monday evening, February 4, at 7:00 pm. The Council will review a brief history of the project, an update on the projected financial impact, and a proposed implementation time line.
The City’s existing waste water treatment facility (lagoon) is one of the largest “pond” facilities in the state at over 300 acres. In the mid-1990’s the City began a process to address the aging facility’s infrastructure issues. The project was put on hold during the aftermath of the Flood of 1997. Later, the City submitted a facility plan to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in 2006 that proposed substantial improvements to the facility. In 2009-10, the City investigated lower-cost alternatives to a complete lagoon rehabilitation, including what is now known as the “interconnect” project the mechanical treatment facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota. with Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The City Council in 2011 passed an amended Facility Plan to the MPCA that identified the interconnect project as the primary option for waste water treatment. Later, in 2011 and 2012, the City Council sustained two mayoral vetoes. The vetoes essentially halted planning on the interconnect project pending further exploration of the issue.
In the fall of 2012, MPCA identified during its routine annual inspection of the city’s facility the outstanding issue of East Grand Forks waste water treatment. The MPCA gave the City a February deadline to identify a treatment plan with project time lines.
The current City Council has stated its intention to work toward a final decision with stated time lines on waste water improvements. The Council is calling for public input into the process that will be possibly the largest city-funded project in the history of East Grand Forks. We hope everyone available can attend on Monday evening.