The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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October 26, 2012

City mulls over new lab

Addition would be part of new treatment plant

CLINTON — Members of the Clinton City Council will discuss adding a $2.77 million laboratory to what is already the largest capital project in Clinton history.

David Dechant with HDR Engineering during the City Services Committee on Wednesday presented the details of the new lab proposed to be added to the $62 million waste water reclamation facility.

Dechant has discussed the lab with the council members before, but at the time did not have the specific details of the project.

According to Dechant, the lab would be 1,850 square feet, double the space of the currently used lab at the old wastewater treatment plant. The management/combined area of the facility, which would house reception, restrooms, locker rooms and other areas, would be 2,470 square feet, more than 1,200 square feet less than the same area in the current lab.

The cost includes the cost of all the equipment and furnishings.  Dechant suggested the city budget for $3 million for the project.

Committee members stated the lab should have been part of the treatment facility construction originally.

The city has looked at how to cover the cost of the lab. When the council last week approved a proposal to pursue a $20 million general obligation bond through the 1 cent sales tax, the lab was included but with a $4.6 million price tag because the specifics of the project had not yet been presented.

At-Large Councilman John Rowland suggested the city should use the lab at the old wastewater facility until the city is on better financial footing or consider funding other projects such as relocating the police department instead.  

“They have a lab they can use and I know what a company would do that faced this dilemma. They would some how use the existing lab until their finances got in better shape,” Rowland said.   

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