The contract includes 18 miles of primarily 24” pipe that runs from the Minnesota/Iowa border to Luverne. When completed Lewis & Clark will be able to deliver water to Luverne. The substantial completion deadline is November 2015. The $16.5 million pipeline contract was awarded to Carstensen Contracting of Pipestone, MN, which was more than two million less than the engineer’s estimate.
Roughly two-thirds of the funds for this project are being provided by the State of Minnesota as a federal funding advance approved during the last legislative session. The rest of the funding is from the FY14 federal appropriation. Lewis & Clark Board Chairman Red Arndt of Luverne says that they cannot thank the State of Minnesota enough for stepping in the gap in such a big way to keep construction moving forward.
Lewis & Clark is currently 65 percent complete and is delivering water to 11 of its 20 members. Separate from this contract, Rock County Rural Water District is scheduled to begin receiving water in the spring of 2015. Luverne will be the thirteenth member connected. The City has reserved 821,000 gallons a day.
A similar arrangement with the state of Iowa footing much of the bill initially is being discussed. It may be brought up during the upcoming 2015 session of the Iowa Legislature. The State would eventually be paid back when the federal government finally keeps its promise to pay that share of the funding.
In addition to the Minnesota and South Dakota water systems that are part of Lewis & Clark, connections are also planned to Sheldon, Hull, Sioux Center, and Sibley. Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities are already connected, as is the Lyon/Sioux Rural Water System, through their partnership with Rock Rapids.
The line that is planned to serve Sheldon needs to come from Beresford, cross the Big Sioux, and connect to the existing Hull-to-Sioux Center line. Then, the line needs to be installed running from Hull to Sheldon.
Sibley’s connection is actually to the Minnesota branch of the system. After the system is connected in Luverne, the line needs to run several miles east into Nobles County before there would be a T- connection running south to Sibley, with the other leg continuing east to Worthington.
There’s also one town in South Dakota that is still not connected — the city of Madison. Plus, according to the map on the Lewis & Clark web site, one of Minnehaha County Rural Water’s connections is still not connected as well.