10 21 Three Oaks Lagoon

To lagoon or not to lagoon? That may ultimately be the question in Three Oaks.

THREE OAKS — The Three Oaks Village Council got a partial look at the estimated cost of having the community’s sewage treated by the Galien River Sanitary District (GRSD) during its Oct. 13 regular meeting.

Village Manager Dan Faulkner said the GRSD has reported that the treatment plant improvements necessary to be able to accept and process waste from Three Oaks would cost $5.2 million (plus the yet-to-be-determined cost of connecting the systems from the village limits to a lift station along U.S. 12).

He said the possibility of seeking grants to alleviate some of that cost is being explored.

The village also has the option of upgrading its sewer lagoons and other parts of the existing treatment system (a process currently facing mandates under a state consent order). The total cost of that path forward is as yet unknown.

“We won’t know until we do further tests to determine if we need to put in a vinyl liner, or what all we need to do, if we need to replace the lift station out there, new pumps, new this and new that,” Faulkner said. “The bottom line is capacity. Does Three Oaks want to grow? The lagoons can only handle so much water.”

During the Oct. 13 Village Council meeting, Mary Nykamp of Wightman and Associates explained the next step in the process – a Lagoon Investigation Plan that would gather information for a feasibility study on the sewer system.

She said a work plan regarding the lagoons was submitted to the state in September, and the state has responded, so now Wightman is asking for permission (and $7,300, which was approved by the council) to do the actual Lagoon Investigation Plan work which includes six soil borings (two per lagoon) to verify the depth of the existing clay liner and determine how much work needs to be done related to the liners.

The lagoons are required to be sealed by a two-foot clay liner.

Later in the meeting Faulkner said a sludge report on the three ponds from Wightman showed little build-up in most areas. Nykamp a small area in the southeast corner of Pond 1 appears to have a slight build up.

“All of this work is going to eventually give us an idea of what it would cost to repair and maintain the ponds, and we’re going to end up weighing that versus what it would cost to tie in to the Galien River (Sanitary District),” said council member Tyler Ream.

Also on Oct. 13, council members were informed by Faulkner of action being taken to deal with a water line lead test reflecting a level one step above the state’s “action level.”

“I did notify the homeowner, they’re using filters,” he said.

Faulkner said the goal is to replace the service line within the next 30 days.

He said over the next two years the village plans to aggressively test about 20 percent of its water system to identify if there are any more such problem areas.

In other Oct. 13 business, the Three Oaks Village Council:

Appointed Ronald Oatsvall Jr. as backup building inspector.

Agreed to spend $4,845 on a BS&A cash receipting software module. Later in the meeting, the need to have the current treasurer and a part-time employee (currently the former treasurer) split time at approximately 20 hours each to help resolve a backlog of billing work was discussed.

Were told by Police Chief Carl Krause that there was an incident during the recent Apple Cider Century that involved a person being treated and a careless driving citation issued. He also gave an update on some berm management at the local shooting range used by Three Oaks and other area departments.

Assigned resolution numbers to previously approved applications for federal Rural Task Force competitive matching grants for possible future projects on North Elm Street ($208,783) and South Elm Street ($116,625) along with a CMAQ grant totaling $125,053 for a 10-foot wide walking patch along U.S. 12 from Three Oaks Ford to the manufactured home park.

The Village Council was scheduled to hold Oct. 19 and 20 meetings to hear presentations from the 10 applicants for the two retail marijuana licenses available in the village, with an Oct. 27 session planned to make decisions on those and other licenses authorized by the Marihuana Ordinance (for a report on the Oct. 27 meeting go to www.harborcountry-news.com).

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