Baxter residents upset over the foul smell coming from Brainerd's wastewater treatment facility will have the chance to air their concerns.
Tom Phelps, superintendent of Brainerd Public Utilities, said a tentative informational meeting has been scheduled between public utilities staffers and people living near the facility in Baxter. The specific date will be determined early next week, he said.
After receiving numerous complaints from Baxter residents in the Red Pine Circle-Berrywood Drive area about the odor, Baxter council members Tuesday decided to schedule a hearing to review Brainerd's conditional use permit related to the plant.
Baxter residents living near the Brainerd wastewater treatment facility will get the chance next week to discuss with Brainerd Public Utilities officials the foul odor emanating from the plant.
Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
Phelps said he has talked to neighbors of the facility and hopes next week's informational meeting will provide the answers they seek.
Phelps said he was aware of the odor problem and that's why public utilities commission in March asked for an emission evaluation of the treatment facility.
The $21 million expansion of the wastewater treatment, expected to be operational in 2009 and which both cities will share, will have advanced odor control and is expected to help alleviate the problem, Phelps said.
But in the interim, Brainerd Public Utilities will look at several options, including additional filters to the system. Chemical treatment, Phelps said, probably won't be considered because it is too expensive.
"We want to make it economically feasible," Phelps said. "Looking at the existing facility and at the next four years, we don't want to spend money if we're going to replace it."
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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