Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner news
Gardner’s Utility Advisory Commission met on Jan. 4 and considered an inflow and infiltration study to analyze and improve the wastewater system and resumed consideration of a modular office building for employees tabled from the last meeting.

Modular office building – purchase or lease?
At the Dec. 7 meeting, the commission was presented with staff recommendation to authorize a lease contract for a modular office building for line maintenance staff.
Line maintenance is under the utilities department, currently with eight employees and two more to be added in 2018. Employees are currently sharing space with Parks and Recreation department personnel in the Public Works maintenance facilities at 329 S. Meadowbrook Circle.
Gonz Garcia, utilities director, described the work space as inadequate and recommended a 60 month lease for a used or refurbished modular office building, to be installed at the same address, for $73,708.
The Commission was concerned with how this would work with the city’s long range plans. It is generally expected that expanded city maintenance facilities will be constructed within the next five years, but at present there is no definite plan or guarantee that it will happen.
After lengthy discussion at the Dec. 7 meeting, the commission tabled the item requesting additional information.
On Jan. 4, Garcia presented the item again, this time with an alternate option to purchase a used modular office building.
After discussion, the options of buying new and a seven year lease were ruled out, leaving a five year lease versus buy used options to consider.
Garcia thinks quotes for a used building could be around $50,000.
“What I was planning to do is request, just inquire, to find out if they can provide it for less than 50. If it’s less than 50, then I need to request three quotes, and then we can make a decision. But if it’s going to be more than 50 then I have to start the process again and that will take a month or month and a half,” Garcia explained.
The five year lease would have an immediate cost of roughly $20,000, the first of annual payments totaling $73,708 at end of the lease term.
Buying used would have an immediate and final cost of around $50,000.
Clint Barney, member, made a motion to recommend council authorize purchase of the used modular office for $50,000 or less. Motion was seconded by Duane Waldeman and carried with none opposed.

Wastewater infiltration study
The commission considered a contract for the Inflow & Infiltration Study & Analysis Project.
The purpose is to develop programs to proactively deal with excess flows within the wastewater collection system and treatment of those flows at the Kill Creek Water Resource Recovery Facility (KCWRRF).
Garcia said KCWRRF treats 521,749 gallons of I & I per day, which is equivalent to $484,000 in treatment costs per year.
I & I includes rain water, ground water or any water that finds its way into the wastewater sewer system but isn’t supposed to be there.
Six qualified firms responded to the Request For Proposals (RFP) and a selection committee was formed to review and make recommendation to the commission.
The staff recommendation is to approve a contract with Trekk Design Group, LLC, in an amount not to exceed $432,943.00 for the Inflow & Infiltration Study & Analysis.
Jeff LeMire, senior staff engineer, gave the staff presentation and answered commission questions. Motion to recommend council approval of the Inflow & Infiltration Study & Analysis Project was made by Andrew Krievens, seconded by Duane Waldeman and carried with none opposed.