Council discusses sewer items

This mostly empty lot on Hickory Street is the future site of the Water Protection Line Maintenance division, which is currently housed on South Belt Highway. Two buildings soon will be built on this location to house large trucks, and more will follow.

Several wastewater protection and sewer maintenance projects involving construction, upgrades and maintenance will see funding after being approved by the St. Joseph City Council on Monday.

A total of $465,362 in sewer projects was passed, including two building projects that will start a larger project to move a city facility to the South Side.

Those projects, each costing over $153,000, will involve constructing vehicle and equipment storage facilities to replace cramped structures at the Line Maintenance division’s current location on South Belt Highway next to the recycling center.

Last summer, an area of land on Hickory Street, near Stockyards Expressway, was purchased for a total of $166,060 with the goal of creating a new station for sewer vacuum trucks and equipment across from City Yards.

Director of Public Works Andy Clements said the old buildings were just barely large enough to park the big trucks, and pulling out of the facility onto the Belt was difficult.

He said these buildings are the first of five that will be needed in order to move the entire operation.

“When they’re out of that (facility), we’ll do some renovations on the back end where recycling is and then we will sell the Belt Highway frontage and we will put that money back in our fund balance and move on,” Clements said.

He said the whole move is expected to be finished by summer of 2021.

The council also approved a $93,570 agreement with Visu-Sewer of Missouri LLC through contract price bidding through the city of Carthage, Missouri, to repair and line manholes.

The project will involve using fiberglass lining to repair and protect manholes from hydrogen sulfide gas, which is common in sewer lines, especially in areas with restaurants, industry or high elevation changes.

During an inspection two years ago, 11 concrete manholes in and around The Shoppes at North Village, along North Carriage Drive and on Stockyards Expressway were in need of repairs.

Clements said the funds should be enough for between 10 and 12 repairs, depending on the depth of the manholes.

The council also approved a $65,000 purchase of a pump station from Smith and Loveless Inc. to repair an aging one at the Water Protection facility.

“I believe the current pump station was installed in the early 1990s. Usually these package stations have a life of 25 to 30 years,” Clements said. “What was going on with that station is it was literally just rotting apart.”

Clements said replacement of the failing pump will begin when the supplies are received from the manufacturer of the Everest 1000 pump station.

Brendan Welch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWelch.