The Waverly City Council on Monday approved on a pair of 6-1 votes a plan to demolish the former wastewater treatment plant located next to Brookridge Park and use the rubble for filler in the under-construction Cedar River Park ball diamond complex.
Both the resolution to approve the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost of $102,500 and to enter into the agreement with Elder Corporation of Des Moines to perform the work for a bid amount of $58,500, passed with Ward 4 Councilman Kris Glaser dissenting.
During the public hearing period of the discussion, Ward 1 Councilman Brian Birgen mentioned the cost to haul the rubble to the park was not included in the contract with Elder. City Administrator James Bronner said that cost would be included in the ball diamond project costs.
“The ball field will have to bring in so much aggregate, that cost will be seen there, instead of us hauling it away, since it’ll be transported there,” Bronner said. “That’s why you’re not seeing any transportation costs here, because we’re keeping it and not having it removed and taken somewhere else to be landfill.
“The material cost will be less, because of this project. It is kind of in tandem, but that’s why you don’t see transportation costs in this particular one.”
At-Large Councilman Matt Schneider said some residents expressed their disappointment to see the dome be removed.
“We explained to them that we are stretching this out, and the ceiling has fallen in, and it has to go away,” Schneider said. “We’re recycling the rubble, even. It’s all good.
“It’s always sad to see a good asset like this come to an end. It served us well.”
According to a memo sent to council, the Water Pollution Control Facility, as the site was known, ceased operation at that location in 1980 when the current WPC — located off of Eight Street Southeast, next to where the Waverly Shell Rock Soccer Complex and the PetSafe Bark Park were later added — went online. In 2008, several of the abandoned equipment at the old site were removed due to safety concerns.
Since the 1980s, the old dome was used as a storage site for storage of aggregate materials used as backfill for fixing water main breaks in the winter. In recent years, the facility has fallen into disrepair and no longer considered adequate for storage.
WHKS & Company in Rochester, Minnesota, the engineer for the project, had estimated $157,000 to demolish the building. Elder had the low bid for the work out of five submitted. The others were $67,500 from Boomerang, of Anamosa, $108,965 from Schrader Excavating & Grading, of Walford, $118,500 from Peterson Contractors Inc., of Reinbeck, and $118,800, of LinnCo Inc., of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.
Glaser expressed a concern from a resident about the cost of the project.
“Is it that unsafe, etc., etc.?” Glaser posed. “I understand James also informed me that the material, if we didn’t demolish this building and reuse the aggregate, would cost between $20,000-25,000 for the ballfields for that material.
“Just a thought, is it something that has to be done now? Is this the place that we’re going to put the Green Bridge? Is it something that we really want to spend money on right now?”
Glaser referred to the possibility of relocating part of the Third Street Southeast Bridge, which will be removed soon. WHKS is performing a study currently to tear it down and how much it would cost to move a span into the park for a memorial display.
The bridge has been closed since the engineering firm, whose Mason City branch is the city’s bridge manager, ordered its shutdown in February 2015. Since then, the city had several unsuccessful attempts to figure out what to do with the span — repair, replace or remove it.
When taking up the Elder contract, At-Large Councilwoman Ann Rathe remarked: “It’s always nice when things come in under estimate.”
“I would agree,” Mayor Adam Hoffman added.
In other business, the council approved the purchase of a 2020 John Deere 50G compact excavator for the Public Works Department from Murphy Tractor of Waterloo, for a total price of $61,985. It was not, however, the lowest bid, as Ditch Witch of Minnesota and Iowa, of Huxley, had offered a Yanmar ViO50-6A for $59,262.91.
But, as Bronner told the council, the Yanmar excavator did not meet the city’s specifications.
“The Deere had much more of them checked off,” he said. “None of them were perfect, but they had a lot more of the specs.”
He noted that there were two John Deere implement dealers within 20 miles of Waverly — Murphy and P&K Midwest in Waverly — that were $5,545 apart on the same tractor.
“I don’t know how that happens, but in the end, we went with the best bid, not the cheapest bid, nor the, quote, ‘local bid,’” Bronner said. “That turned out to be the John Deere from Murphy Tractor, of Waterloo.”
What drove the city away from the Yanmar was there was no warranty on that machine, Bronner said. Murphy had the next best “responsible” bid, he added.
“Waterloo is not that far away,” Birgen quipped.
“That’s true, but it’s not in our backyard, either,” Bronner replied.
Rathe appreciated the comments from staff in the council memos, both on this item as well as another vehicle purchase — a 2020 Massey Ferguson 6714S tractor with a Bengal BB-22 boom mower that was included in the consent calendar for an after-trade-in cost of $130,375.
“It has their rationale for which piece of equipment will work,” she said, “and they always seem to think ahead and try to make sure it’s a good fit. I appreciate the comments, especially from the chief mechanic.”
Schneider also liked the fact the bids aren’t within a 3% margin.
“You won’t have to listen to me go on and on tonight,” He said.