City proceeds with plans for sewer repair facilities

The Wayland City Council Monday night unanimously voted to proceed with a proposal to upgrade lift stations for the sewer treatment plant.

Water and Sewer Supt. Ben Bachelder showed council members the locations of lift stations and City Engineer Mickey Bittner outlined some of the repairs that need to be done after earning a SAW grant to investigate. They indicated there is damage from hydrogen sulfide and corrosion that needs to be mitigated for electrical controls.

Batchelder has been reporting for some time that residential use of “wipes” has been clogging the sewer treatment system. He said the city plans to “put in pumps that are intended for use against heavy duty challenges.”

Of course, the biggest question moving forward will be about funding. The city doesn’t qualify for most grants, but City Manager Josh Eggleston said there are low interest loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the county. He added that the city does have some money in its sewer fund.

But Eggleston said perhaps the best and cheapest opportunity would come from the federal infrastructure package being sought by the Biden Administration, if it is passed in Congress.

In other business Monday night, the council:

  • Approved the recommendation of the Planning to grant a special use permit to the Lumberyard Event Center for up to three “overnight suites” or bedrooms on the second floor.

Councilman Joe Kramer said he understands the request only deals with zoning, but he cautioned that the Events Center is the site of one of the oldest buildings in Wayland and it’s all made of wood. He said smoke detectors are needed, as is egress directly outside the second floor and a sprinkler system.

Kramer said he wants to make certain that the fire department signs off on the request before its final approval.

The Events Center was home to Smith Lumber & Coal for more than 100 years.

  • Approved the reappointments of Chairman JD Gonzales and Ben Adams to the Planning Commission for three-year terms. Commissioner Sam Dykstra has decided against seeking another term so his successor will be sought.
  • Noted that a survey on a new proposed master plan will be posted on the city’s web site soon.

COVER PHOTO: City Sewer and Water Supt. Ben Batchelder points to one of the locations of the lift stations,


  • I’m sure glad the city invested in that new vacuum pump truck, because I can hear that money sucking sound again. So, who and where is the $370,000 of the grant money going? And we pay already to serve sewer fee for repairs and upgrades on our monthly bills, so why should the city be looking elsewhere for money? If all of that grant money is being spent for “investigation,” I think we need to have the attorney general do some “investigations” I’ve said this numerous times about Mr. Bittner, I think he’s found a cash cow and it’s called the City of Wayland.

  • I use less than $3 of water a month but still get a $45 dollar a month bill. Were does the other $43 go? I know there are wages and other bills to pay. The water and sewer were installed in Wayland in the early 70s . Very poor planning by the city council for updates, nothing lasts forever. Need less effort on parks and walk ways more effort on roads, sewers and the basics. I know that will never happen. The city council has an agenda!

  • Is it any wonder the Lumberyard Event Center was granted the special use permit?
    I bet the vote was without any opposition. Was anyone there from the Best Western hotel? What a slap in the face to a local business that provides lodging not more than 1/2 mile from the event center. How much taxmoney is paid in taxes by Best Western? I’m sure it is substantial. And so goes the City of Wayland down the road to perdition. What a joke!

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