Delano, Watertown team up on sewers

The city of Delano has equipment for televising the interior of its sanitary sewer system, and the city of Watertown has equipment for vacuuming debris from sewer pipes.

So why not share them?

Officials from both cities got together and crafted an agreement that provides for sharing not only the equipment but also the employees that operate them. The Delano City Council approved the agreement at its Tuesday, Oct. 16 meeting.

After City Councilors, voted unanimously “Yes,” Delano Mayor Dale Graunke said this is a way for both cities to put equipment to better use. Otherwise, it would sit idle for a goodly portion of the year.

Delano City Administrator Phil Kern noted that both cities recently purchased their equipment, so there is no immediate cost for Delano to enter into the agreement. He was confident that the equipment would last for at least 10 years. Before and after that, the cities would repair or replace equipment according to a procedure spelled out in the agreement.

Both cities will use equipment and staff to televise and clean one-fifth of their sanitary sewers each year, Kern said. After five years, each city will have inventoried, maintained and repaired its entire sanitary sewer system.

Both Kern and Public Works Director Ernie Eden liked the potential for cost savings for Delano and Watertown. Both cities will have opportunities for doing sewer work themselves rather than paying independent contractors for the work. Televising the inside of sewer mains will alert both cities to potential sanitary sewer back-ups before they happen. And the sewer cleaning equipment will enable both cities to do something about potential back-ups, including alerting nearby homeowners.

Kern also mentioned improved ability for both cities to trouble shoot and respond to emergency situations. And knowing what is under a street will help the cities save money on street reconstruction projects.

Another potential cost savings is cost breaks on municipal liability insurance from the League of Municipal Cities. “No doubt we’ll get the lowest premium over time,” he said.



The Delano City Council also:

TABLED a proposal for a Phase I environmental study that would unearth possible soil and water contamination on the former Ranchers property at 710 Babcock Blvd. The city recently purchased the property and now wants feedback anyone who knows of reasons why the site might be contaminated.

APPROVED replacement of a portion of the sanitary sewer main along Franklin Avenue W., just west of Highway 12.

APPROVED an amendment to the lease of Juke Box Restaurant, located in the Rivertown Building on Bridge Avenue. The city of Delano owns the building and has asked for rent increases.

DECIDED to eliminate the Administrative Assistant II position due to budgetary reasons. Wendy Biel, the current administrative assistant, will continue to work for the city at the Senior Center and the municipal liquor store.

APPROVED the city’s annual payment to the Delano Fire Fighters Relief Association for its retirement fund. This year’s donation is $27,500.