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Engineers present early drafts of updated water, wastewater reports to Libby City Council

by John Blodgett Western News
| February 27, 2018 3:00 AM

Representatives from the two Kalispell engineering firms preparing preliminary engineering reports on water and sewer systems for the City of Libby gave a progress report to the City Council before its Feb. 20 meeting.

Council members gave the go-ahead to the two firms, TD&H Engineering and Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, on Dec. 18, 2017, agreeing to pay them $60,000 to prepare the reports.

The purpose of a preliminary engineering report, or PER, is “to prioritize the issues and problems that need to be addressed in the water and sewer plants as well as the distribution systems,” City Administrator Jim Hammons said at the time. “The PERs are required to access all federal and state funding programs for water and sewer projects.”

The firms are actually updating two previous PERs — a wastewater system report from 2010 and a water system report from 2012.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” said Doug Peppmeier of TD&H Engineering as he opened his presentation to the City Council.

The goal of his Feb. 20 presentation, along with that of Alan Wendt of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, was to “make sure we’re identifying your needs and addressing what you want to prioritize,” Peppmeier said.

The two men presented preliminary lists of deficiencies in the water treatment plant, water distribution system and wastewater system, along with a list of priorities for the City Council to choose from. They also outlined the parameters of a number of funding options, some of which require a 25 to 50 percent match from the city.

According to Peppmeier and Wendt’s timeline, applications for grant and loan programs could be made this spring or summer and funding could be secured as early as the summer of 2019.

Because the reports are not yet final, the City Council made no decisions or recommendations. Peppmeier said they are aiming to present a draft report in March.