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Contract approved to complete portion of feasibility study to repurpose wastewater lagoon

The St. Helens City Council has taken another step forward in studying the feasibility of repurposing the city's secondary wastewater lagoon into a solid waste landfill.

The City Council approved a contract with Maul Foster Alongi of up to $500,000 on Wednesday, May 1, which will allow the consulting agency to do as much work as possible within that financial constraint to further study the repurposing project.

The contract, which was approved by a unanimous vote Wednesday, authorizes Maul Foster Alongi, an environmental engineering and consulting company, to perform environmental and engineering work related to the city's efforts to study repurposing its secondary wastewater lagoon as a solid waste landfill.

Maul Foster Alongi will perform site characterization tasks, create a preliminary site development plan, perform risk assessments and study the geology, hydrogeology and geotechnical components of the lagoon, the contract states. The contract payment will be paid as work is completed and not in a lump sum.

In January, the city of St. Helens received $500,000 from the Oregon Department of State Lands from its Portland Harbor Cleanup Fund to help pay for the feasibility study to repurpose the city's secondary wastewater lagoon.

Funding for the contract with Maul Foster Alongi will come from the DSL funds, Finance Director Matt Brown explained in an email to the Spotlight.

Earlier this year, City Administrator John Walsh noted the city was hoping to address elements of the feasibility study as funding became available.

The city pitched the concept of repurposing the wastewater lagoon several years ago by partially or completely filling it with sediment from three different locations, including an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in the Portland Harbor, Lower Willamette River channel deepening projects, and other brownfield sites.

Since then, the city has been pursuing various funding sources to help pay for studies needed to determine if such a project is feasible.

Repurposing the lagoon would mean that a smaller wastewater lagoon could be relocated elsewhere in the city, and would create

more developable waterfront land.

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