by Dennis Dalman
Sartell’s east side water treatment plant will likely be demolished in spring or summer of 2020.
However, in the meantime, the Sartell City Council at its Sept. 23 meeting requested city staff to do a “parallel study” of the plant that would include the value of that building, the cost of tearing it down and the feasibility of selling it or using it for some other purpose.
The results of that study will be discussed at a future council meeting.
April Ryan, an engineer with the city’s engineering firm, Scott Elliott Hendrickson, presented background and the firm’s and city staff’s recommendation for demolition at the council meeting.
The east side plant is the oldest of the city’s three water treatment plants. If it is torn down and its three wells capped, there will be plenty of water available for the city’s uses, said Sartell Public Works Director John Kothenbeutel. The two newer plants, he told the council, provide a total of about six million gallons per day, and the city’s peak demand on the hottest day of summer is about 5.5 million gallons in a 24-hour period.
The east side treatment plant, said Kothenbeutel, is in very bad shape, comprised of concrete, tanks and pipes. Its roof, he said, is shot.
In her presentation, Ryan said it would cost an estimated $2 million to repair and upgrade and up to $375,000 to demolish, including clean-up costs. Repurposing the building was explored, but all options are unfeasible, she noted.
Council member Mike Chisum said he would like to see a possible sale of the facility to a private buyer. Why be in a hurry to raze it?, he asked. The city, Ryan said, intends to keep the land on which the plant sits. If the plant were to be sold, its new owner would almost certainly have to demolish it anyway as it would be virtually useless for any other use, making its purchase futile, Ryan noted.
The council voted unanimously to pursue taking bids for a demolition, with the proviso it could be placed on the market for a certain amount of time after the bids come in.