NYA council members review water management plan

NT- NYA Council Water Treatment

NYA Council members took a first look at a city surface water management plan which is a guiding document to preserve natural resources. (NYA Times staff photo by Adam Gruenewald)

by ADAM GRUENEWALD
NYA Times

Rather than approving a complex water management plan quickly, NYA City Council members decided to reevaluate it for a later acceptance. The plan, presented by City Engineer Jake Saulsbury of Bolton and Menk on Feb. 3, includes an update to the original 2007 plan approved by the city.
The Carver County Watershed Management Organization has since updated its plan in 2010 and the city is required to update its plan as well.
Among the updates are those concerning the rules of the watershed as well as several action items both required and recommended for the city.
The city would be required to limit pollutant loading into certain water areas, apply regulation standards to water management and complete optional general projects including stormwater retrofitting and restoration.
“One of the requirements to obtain those funds is to have the projects listed in the plan,” Saulsbury said. “The city is not required to do any of them but just by having them listed it allows for some potential funding assistance.”
The required portions of the plan do not have any costs, Saulsbury said.
“The only significant items of cost included in this are the projects and you are not required to do them,” said Saulsbury, adding some additional requirements could come through the state in relation to wastewater discharge.
In terms of recommended items, Saulsbury said the biggest one was that the plan encourages the city to educate the community on watershed issues, a majority of which is done through the county.
Saulsbury said that the document, once it is approved, will be tremendously helpful in conjunction with the Carver County Watershed Management Organization.
“This is a guiding document to help,” said Saulsbury, adding it can later be amended. “To give the developers an idea of what to expect, and to give council a general overview of what we can do to best manage our resources. It will provide direction for any sort of development, it will help with grant funds and will help improve the natural resources within our own city.”
While council members seemed OK with the concept of the project, they decided to delay the final decision because the plan was quite substantial in length and seemingly prioritized several projects over others.
The council will review the document in detail at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
Council members also heard an update from Waconia Manufacturing President Troy Williams on his company’s building project at the Tacoma West Industrial Park in NYA.
The 67,000-square-foot facility, which broke ground last July, is located on a 9.36-acre lot in the industrial park.
Waconia Manufacturing is a manufacturer of bulk material handling and blending systems for the fertilizer industry, and has been in business since 1959. It currently operates out of Waconia and processes work orders from all over the country. The new facility, which will be located at 680 Tacoma Blvd. in NYA, will be the company’s second facility.
Williams assured council members that building is progressing and residents can expect to see more activity as the weather heats up.
“It’s been a long winter as you know but our progress is going well,” he said. “We’re about 60 days away from occupying the building.”
Some larger pieces of equipment have been moved to the enclosed building and Williams said training has already begun for some of the 15 employees set to work at the building.
“We have brought in some people into our facility in Waconia,” he said. “We know there’s going to be a transition in some of the jobs that we have, there’s a training process that goes into understand our process of how we do things.”
Responding to questions asked by council members, Williams said the NYA location will primarily focus on manufacturing of larger equipment, such as fertilizer tanks and structural steel and structures for conveyors. There is a strong focus to get started once the weather warms up, Williams said.
“We have a big push for the spring season here with our fertilizer equipment,” he said. “Most of it has to be out so it can be installed for use in spring season here… If it’s not there by the first of April it probably can wait until after the spring season.”
Williams also thanked the city of NYA for having the large space availability to continue helping Waconia Manufacturing grow as it celebrates 55 years in business.
“It is an impressive building,” he said. “We feel like we’re going to have a facility that is going to serve us for many years down the road.”
In other news, council members retracted an appointment of John Blanchard to the Parks and Recreation Commission because he is moving out of the area, and approved the growth in possible membership from nine to 15 on the Senior Advisory Committee. The NYA City Council will next meet on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m., prior to which will be the workshop on the surface water management plan.

Contact Adam Gruenewald at adam.gruenewald@ecm-inc.com.

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