Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The construction of a new spillway at Gardner Lake will begin soon. The Gardner City Council approved a $56,000 agreement with an engineering firm for design and construction plans during a meeting May 20.
In the agreement, Ollson Associates will locate underground utilities, conduct soil tests and obtain groundwater readings and recommend design parameters. Further, the company will provide the city with a final design plan for a new spillway and prepare all permit documentation.
The spillway project was included as a capital improvement project in the 2018 budget, and the city allocated $310,000. However, according to Micheal Kramer, public works director, the new estimated project cost is $766,053.
“It is anticipated that the project will be funded through a debt issuance of general obligation bonds,” said Kramer in a report to the council.
During the meeting the council also approved $3,725,000 in general obligations bonds to fund infrastructure improvements at the Tuscan Farm lift station special benefit district.
The council also approved a $1.9 million bond issue to fund sewerage improvements including a new crane at the Kill Creek lift station and the construction of a South lift station storage tank.
Bruce Kimmel, a consultant who advices the city on financial matters, told the council that the city’s bond issue was well received by the market and attracted a 1.83 percent interest rate which was lower than expected.
“We saw aggressive bidding for the bonds and as a result the city will pay about $100,000 less in interest charges than projected,” he said.

In other business:
– the council approved revisions to the personnel manual to allow city employees to display political signs on their private property. The revisions also allow city employees to wear apparel displaying political badges, buttons or signs while off duty.
-adopted a resolution revising the municipal water conservation plan. The new plan includes education, management and regulatory components including penalties on water users who violate city orders on water usage during a water shortage emergency.