Gov. Dayton, Detroit Lakes Officials Discuss City’s $34 Million Water Treatment Plant

Governor Dayton visits Detroit Lakes to check on the city’s plans for a $34 million waste water treatment plant.

Monthly water bills will be going up, it’s just a matter of how much.

Governor Dayton joined leaders in Detroit Lakes as they discussed the future of the water facility.

“Everything that you see that’s grey is going to be gone.” says Scott Gilbertson, Water and Waste Water Supervisor in Detroit Lakes.

That’s because a lot of equipment at the facility is due for an upgrade.

“Our permit indicated that we need a facility that could meet the needs of the limits that were opposed, and that really was the driver. Our limit for phosphorous was decreased by 94%” says Gilbertson.

The new requirement can’t be taken lightly, and that’s why they’re building a new water treatment plant.

“They can tell you you can’t build another house in your city unless you make these limits,” Gilbertson says,

The city hopes to receive $15 million in bonds from the state for the $34 million project.

“What’s the value of human lives? That’s why we’re applying the science we have now and what we do know. What we’re planning for the future is our responsibility,” says Governor Dayton.

The city knows the price, the water facility knows they are building, but they don’t want to put a burden on their customers, and that’s why they’re asking for the state’s help.

State assistance or not, customer rates are going up.

That concerns Minnesota State Representative Steve Green.

“We don’t want to set standards higher than we can meet at a price we can’t afford,” Green says.

The city’s response?

“Again, that’s out of our control,” Gilbertson says.

In the meeting, the city explained they looked at all options.

“We are doing what we’re mandated to do through the MPCA,” says Gilbertson.

Detroit Lakes hopes to have the new facility up and running by 2019.

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