Engineering firms interviewed for Hennepin Paper cleanup expansion plans

The Little Falls City Council spent over two hours Monday interviewing representatives of four engineering firms for the estimated $3 million job of cleaning up the Hennepin Paper site.

Interviewed were engineers from ENSR of St. Louis Park which had conducted the Phase II Study and prepared the Response Action Plan for the site, LIESCH of Plymouth, Widseth, Smith, Nolting, the city’s usual engineering firm and Landmark Environmental of Bloomington. The latter’s Ken Habberman had written successful applications for the EPA and DEED grants for the project.

While the final talley of the council’s evaluation was not made until later, it appeared the members’ favor was for Landmark Environmental.

According to answers given during the interview, one of the larger projects tackled by the young Landmark company was the clearing of 40 acres for the new Best Buy home office. It included the demolition of many houses. Other answers given reported Habberman would be the overall project manager if the firm was to get the Hennepin Paper contract, while Ron Klinker of Little Falls would be the local project manager. The answer to whether or not the cleanup could be completed by the end of the year was, “We’d do what we could do.”

Plans call for the representatives of Landmark Environmental to return this Monday for a second interview. While it was prohibited at the first interview by federal regulations, the question of costs would be asked at that time.

In other business discussed at their planning meeting, the council members:

• Were informed the Red Bull Bar owners were requesting a permit for a 2 a.m. closing. Not knowing how it would affect the hours for local police patrol, or who receives the extra fee charged, it was decided to forego any decision at the time;

• Were told that Elm Street and Oak Ridge Drive in the Belle Prairie annexation area could be served with utility lines coming from Mississippi Boulevard. “It would save us 200 feet of pipe,” said Jerry Lochner, manager of City Services;

• Learned that some along Lindbergh Drive South, from Broadway to about 3rd Avenue, were requesting angle parking when the street is reconstructed. Others reportedly want trees. According to Lochner, the state won’t allow angle parking on state-aid streets;

• Were informed the ethanol plant would like to purchase the land on which a Franklin Sign sits. However, according to City Administrator Rich Carlson, they want the purchase to go through the city; and

• Learned the plans to construct a shelter/hockey rink at Lions Park on the west side have been “scrapped” this year. Reasons given included high bids and not enough money.

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