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City will talk to fair board about land

Property one of three possible sites for new wastewater treatment plant

MORRISON – Land now used for county fair parking may become the site for the city’s new wastewater treatment plant.

But there’s a long way to go, and money to be spent, before that happens.

The Morrison City Council on Monday asked Mayor Roger Drey to talk to the Whiteside County Fair Board about property it owns south of the city’s current wastewater treatment plant.

City Administrator Jim Wise will arrange the meeting, which would be with one or two Fair Board members.

One of three configurations the city is considering for a new plant in or near Waterworks Park would place the facility on land now owned by the Fair Board.

The council last month unanimously agreed to build a new sewer treatment plant, rather than fix the decades-old facility in Waterworks Park that officials consider inadequate. 

City Engineer Mick Gronewold said several studies would be needed before any land deal, including a geotechnical investigation to determine the land’s soil-bearing capacity. That investigation alone could cost $12,000 to $15,000, he said.

Councilwoman Pat Zuidema asked whether the city would have to pay to remove debris from the property. Many believe the site has been used as a dumping ground.

Gronewold said the Environmental Protection Agency might make the city pay to remove garbage.

Councilman Scott Connelly said he favors gathering more information about the site.

“I think most people are sure that there was dumping,” he said. “There are sinkholes. I want to make sure before we purchase the property we know what we’re getting.”

The council on Monday also approved a preliminary tax levy of $500,365 for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The levy must be available to the public for 20 days before the council votes on a final draft.

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