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Sewer project for Brandon lakes area is under review

Citing engineering, cost, and financing issues, the Central Lakes Region Sanitary District board voted to send Phase II of the sewer project back to the engineers to again review the options for sewage and waste water management around the Brandon Township lakes of Chippewa, Whiskey, and Devils.

The board took the action at a special meeting Monday night.

The sewer project in Brandon Township was costly compared to Phase I (Lobster Lake) and Phase III (Miltona and Irene), according to Pat Conroy, general manager of CLRSD.

"Before we commit to long term financing we are going to ask the engineers to once again review all options and cost estimates," Conroy said in a news release.

Conroy added that CLRSD board has been concerned for some time about Phase II.

"As final financing decisions drew close, the board did its fiduciary duty in calling for this review," he said.

"To be clear," explained Conroy, "CLRSD is not abandoning the lakes of Brandon Township. The lakes of Brandon Township are part of the sanitary district by state law and Brandon Township Board of Supervisors' action."

Conroy added that it remains the responsibility of CLRSD to find a long-term solution to waste water management in the district.

"This is only a fiscally responsible delay and we hope a short delay for Brandon Township," Conroy said.

"The action in no way impacts Phase I [Lobster Lake] or Phase III [Miltona and Irene]," Conroy emphasized.

Conroy added that the CLRSD board is most confident in the plans for those phases of the project. Phase I is awaiting release of funding expected in September and Phase III is awaiting the MPCA permit for the construction of the waste water treatment plant on the Long Prairie River.

The final public comment period expired August 14 and the final step is a citizen review panel.

Once the funding is released for Phase I and the MPCA permit is in hand for Phase III, construction bids will be solicited, Conroy said.