Moorcroft Leader - The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Lagoon project has yet to begin

 

June 25, 2020



RCS Construction, the company that was awarded the contract for Moorcroft’s lagoon project almost four months ago, has yet to begin work and is now saying it will start in September. This departure from including a start date in the agreement was to open the bidding, encouraging more interest; however, the compromise has set a perceived strain on the completion date of July 2021.

Councilman Ben Glenn, himself a construction contractor, is concerned that RCS may not be able to finish the project on time and will seek extensions to fulfill their contract: “That’s the trouble with not putting a start date on it, on all the other projects, they start within 45 days of the acceptance [of bid].”

This DEQ-mandated project has an almost $5 million price tag broken into a $1.6 million grant and a $3.3 million 40-year loan from the USDA. Mayor Dick Claar stated that the manner in which the council has approached this project ensures that, at this time, they have not had to raise rates, “We know that it’s tough enough in today’s economy without higher utility bills,” he said.

The lagoon has been out of compliance for nearly a decade and the government agency, according to Claar, is no longer willing to carry on without seeing results from the municipalities as they attempt to reestablish compliance with the standards set by the EPA.

“They are really dictating to us that we need to make these improvements and then, hopefully, they’ll put us back into compliance,” he said. “It’s not that we want to spend $5 million, it’s that we have to or they’re going to fine us – that’s the threat anyway. We’re choosing the best option we know available.”

The job will start with pulling the existing aeration system, dredging the cells (ponds), installing new aeration lines, remodeling the cells to better manage flow and building a mechanical structure. The next phase, when initiated, will probably include installation of a SAGR system, according to the mayor.

 
 

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