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Medora to consider plans to remedy city's water problems

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news Dickinson, 58602

Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

MEDORA -- With the replacement of its outdated wastewater treatment facilities rapidly becoming a need, members of the Medora City Council were presented three plans Wednesday evening that could remedy the community's water issues.

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The three proposals -- ranging in estimated price from $6 million to $8 million -- were presented to the City Council during its meeting Wednesday at the community center. The plans, given to the council for review, were presented by Russell Sorenson of engineering firm AE2S.

"This is something that's needed here," said Medora Mayor Doug Ellison. "The system that we have now simply isn't up to par."

Two of the proposals would place wastewater complexes on the western edge of the city while a third plan would place facilities about four miles south of town, next to Bully Pulpit Golf Course.

The first plan would cost just less than $8 million and feature a mechanical plant and two 4.6-acre storage ponds while the second option -- estimated to come with a $6.1 million price tag -- would feature the two storage ponds, but no mechanical plant. The final option, which would be located near the golf course, would have a much smaller footprint (2 acres, compared with at least 15 acres for the other two) and would cost around $7.2 million.

Currently, the city uses four lagoons connected by a single pipeline. Issues raised about the setup include that the system is outdated and struggling to meet demands of a growing population. There has also been complaints of odor from the lagoons, which are centrally located within the city limits.

Although the year-round population for Medora is listed at 116, the city is a major tourist destination in western North Dakota and routinely sees its population temporarily balloon to nearly 2,000 during the warmer months. City leaders also have expressed concern about growth in Medora due to energy exploration and production in the region.

"Future projects will be delayed or stopped due to the current shortcomings of the wastewater system," Sorenson said.

The city would seek a public-private financing partnership for a new facility, Ellison said.

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