By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
The sewer for the new Clinton Middle School will be constructed using district funds and $250,000 from the Clinton County Development Association.
The school district will construct a gravity sewer rather than the city-preferred option that would entail the school constructing a lift station in order to connect to a city-constructed sewer along 13th Avenue North.
A special request for funding was made by officials of the Clinton School District in December after they learned the Clinton City Council would not support the sewer completion project favored by district officials.
While special funding requests are rarely granted, the CCDA fulfilled a similar request from the Central Community School in 2011. The gaming organization awarded the district $400,000 to furnish facilities in the districts expansion and renovation projects.
After Superintendent Deb Olson and Clinton School Board President Gregg Obren came before the CCDA board in December to request the funding, a subcommittee was formed consisting of CCDA directors Ed Hupfer, Alice Schnepel and Jerome Burken.
The subcommittee recommended $250,000 be allocated over a three-year period.
“Our purpose is to provide financial assistance through our grant programs for local organizations and charities that work to improve the overall vitality and quality of life in our county through their educational, social, cultural, and environmental programs and initiatives,” Hupfer said. “These funds may help the district with the new middle school project.”
The CCDA board unanimously approved awarding the funds in January. CCDA Director Jim McGraw, who is also a member of the Clinton School Board, abstained from the vote.
Funding from the CCDA will be granted to the Clinton School District in three installments. The first installment of $100,000 will be received in September with another $100,000 installment and a final $50,000 installment to complete the project.
Without the funding, school district officials would not have been able to pursue the gravity sewer, which has a price tag of $397,144.
If the district had not been awarded the grant, the force sewer would have cost $246,328.
“It allows us to be able to complete the gravity sewer,” Olson said. “Our budget is already tight and we just don’t have the money.”
As part of the gravity sewer plan, the school district is negotiating easements with property owners to connect this new sewer to the Mill Creek sewer. According to Olson, the connection will not happen until after farming season.
Once the sewer line is completed, the district would turn ownership of the sewer line and any easements to the city and pay connection fees.
Any future connection fees to this line would be rebated to the district, as dictated by city policy, up to the original construction cost.
The city would also be responsible for paying to expand the sewer to accommodate any future development in the 14th Street Northwest area.