The Wilber City Council took steps to move forward with the city’s NRD lake reservoir project at its Aug. 13 meeting.

Jacob Ellingson and Emily Baush with Olsson Associates, a consulting firm, and Scott Sobotka with the Lower Big Blue NRD discussed bid plans with the council. Bids were officially opened and the council will choose a contractor or company before or during its September meeting. 

The project, located near Wilber-Clatonia Public School off Shimerda Street, includes dam rehabilitation, an outdoor classroom/shelter, walking trails, a wheelchair accessible fishing dock and a restroom area. 

In February, the council entered an inter-governmental agreement with the Department of Environmental Quality and was granted a one-year extension with the DEQ trust fund of $255,000. 

Funds for phase one of the project are all met thanks to the aformentioned DEQ grant, a land and water conservation grant, the NRD and the city of Wilber, all of which total $420,000.

They are to be used for building permits and engineering purposes for the site. 

Sobotka said there are still land-right agreements that need to be dealt with, but once those are finished and a bid is selected, construction on the project can begin. 

“A completion date for the project is March 2020,” Sobotka said. 

“I just think it’s one of the best kept secrets of Wilber,” Sheryl Kastanek, president of the Pathways to Progress planning commitee, said. “It’s an opportunity for outdoor recreation for our citizens and surrounding areas.” 

The planning committee has been involved with the project since early 2016 and is glad to see things moving along. 

Kastanek said while phase one is just beginning, the committee has many ideas that can be added to the project in the future. 

 

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