Engineering and Surveying Firm Announces Leadership Changes

Steve Hasuner, PE & PLS

Stephen W. Hausner, PE & PLS

Matt Walker, PE

Matthew P.  Walker, PE

French-Reneker-Associates, Inc., Engineers & Surveyors of Fairfield, Iowa, recently elected Stephen W. Hausner as President and Matthew P. Walker as Vice-President of the firm. This change became effective February 17, 2014. Steve replaces John W. Meyer who has been President since 2004. Matt replaces Steve, subsequent to his election as President.  One January 1, 2015, Steve took over as Chief Executive Officer for the firm upon John’s retirement.

Steve joined French-Reneker-Associates in July 1993 as a project engineer. During his time with the firm, he has been involved with a wide variety of civil engineering and land survey projects. These have included municipal streets, county roads, water system improvements, storm and sanitary sewers, and general aviation airport improvements. Prior to his time with French-Reneker-Associates, Steve held positions as assistant county engineer in Kossuth and Keokuk Counties in Iowa.

Steve, originally from Burlington, Iowa, received his degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University. He is a professional engineer licensed in Iowa and Missouri as well as a professional land surveyor licensed in Iowa.

Matt joined French-Reneker-Associates in May 2008 after holding positions with the Iowa Department of Transportation and another engineering firm in the Des Moines, Iowa, area. Matt, a native of West Burlington, Iowa, received his degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.

During his time with the firm, Matt has done a wide variety of projects. These have included interstate rest areas, site designs for schools and hospitals, municipal streets, sanitary sewers, water distribution, water treatment facilities, and wastewater treatment facilities.

Steve and his wife, Chris, reside in the rural Birmingham area and have three children, Michelle of Schaumburg, Illinois, Tyler a student at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, and Alex at home.

Matt and his wife, Jean, reside in the rural Mt. Pleasant area with their four young sons, Payton, Grayson, Harrison, and Riggs.

French- Reneker Assists with Successful Funding Applications

funding-model-portraitCommunity Development Block Grants were recently awarded to the cities of Blakesburg, Bloomfield, Bonaparte, Keosauqua, and Keota for improvements to their water and sewer systems. French-Reneker-Associates assisted these communities with their successful funding applications.

These grants totaling $1,952,000 leverage an additional $2,087,100 of local funds enabling over $4,000,000 of improvements to their infrastructure. French-Reneker’s work began with the preparation of preliminary engineering reports for each community and then assistance was provided to the communities to complete funding applications.

Awards totaling $23.8 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds were recently announced for 70 communities across the state. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded the CDBG funds to support 72 community investment projects. The federally funded grants were awarded for community facilities, infrastructure improvements, downtown revitalization, and single family owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.

These funds enable communities to make needed improvements to water and sewer systems, improve housing conditions for low-income homeowners, provide facilities for disabled and at-risk individuals, and make transformative improvements to their downtowns.

IEDA received 136 applications for these funds, totaling $44.9 million in funding requests. The grants are awarded based on benefit to low- and moderate-income persons, slum and blight elimination, financial need, project impact and readiness, and commitment of local resources to the project.

The CDBG program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). IEDA is responsible for administering the CDBG funds in the non-metropolitan areas of the state. Applications are solicited annually, usually during the fall.

French-Reneker-Associates can assist communities with the required preliminary engineering reports, planning, and can work with a community’s grant writer to seek these funds for sewer and water system improvements. If you have interest in this program give us a call or email to email@french-reneker.com.

Fairfield Loop Trail Receives Award at Regional Trails Conference

loop-trailThe Fairfield Loop Trail recently received an award at the Mid-America Trails and Greenways Conference (MATAG).  The bi-annual conference was held October 27-30, 2013 in Matteson, Illinois.  The conference is sponsored by an affiliation of trails and greenways planners and promoters representing nine states in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys.  Two awards were granted for each state, one for a person who has been influential in trail advocacy, and one for an exemplary trail.  This year’s Iowa state awards went to Chuck Offenburger and the Fairfield Loop Trail.  This award shows the Fairfield Loop Trail is not only an asset to the local community and the state of Iowa, but is an asset to the entire Midwest.

MATAG Award Photo

The Fairfield Loop Trail project was first conceived in 1997 when the Jefferson County Conservation Board recognized the demand for trails in Fairfield was outpacing the supply.  The Jefferson
County Trails Council was formed shortly thereafter to “create an integrated trail system that will allow all citizens and visitors to enjoy the benefits of health, recreation, education, and safety.”

Fourteen years later, the 15.9-mile Fairfield Loop Trail was completed.  The completion of the project is an example of incredible community involvement, cooperation, and persistence.  The project would not have been possible without the support of the City of Fairfield, Jefferson County, and the Iowa Department of Transportation.

(From Left to Right)  Mary Patchin (Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau), Stephen Pedrick (Jefferson County Trails Council) receives award on behalf of the Fairfield Loop Trail, John Wilson (Lansing Park District)

French-Reneker-Associates, Inc. was a critical partner for preparing grant applications, planning, engineering, and design services.  Portions of the trail French-Reneker was involved with for planning, design, or construction include: Cedar View Trail Bridge over Cedar Creek; Whitham Woods Segment of trail; Northwestern Segment of trail; Rock Island Railroad Segment of trail; Bill Matkin Memorial Bridge over Highway 1 North; North B Street Segment of trail; Lakes Segment of trail; and the Louden Bridge over BNSF railroad.  In addition, French-Reneker employees have donated many hours of time for design of small wood bridges throughout the Loop Trail, layout of rolling grade dips for erosion control, and labor for construction of various projects on the Loop Trail.

French-Reneker-Associates Successful in Aiding Three for Three Communities in Award of a Sponsored Project!

What is a sponsored project?

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources created a new category, effective Fiscal Year 2014, for funding projects to improve water quality called “water resource restoration sponsored projects,” more commonly referred to as “Sponsored Project.” The program is only eligible for communities utilizing a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan to fund wastewater improvements. The program reduces the interest rate on the CWSRF loan to offset the cost of the “Sponsored Project.” The net effect is a larger loan with the same payments and term covering both the wastewater improvements and the Sponsored Project. The cost of the Sponsored Project can be up to about 10% of the CWSRF loan. Projects eligible for sponsored project funding mBlksbrgSP-0002ust improve water quality in the watershed in which the publicly-owned wastewater facility is located. For the first round of funding, 83 entities had eligible projects and could submit applications by July 19, 2013.

Who applied for a Sponsored Project?

Thirty-two entities submitted applications totaling $36 million of eligible projects. French-Reneker-Associates assisted three communities in submitting applications: New London submitted an application for $325,500; Donnellson submitted an application for a $315,000; and Blakesburg submitted an application for $45,000.

Who was awarded a Sponsored Project?

A total of $12.7 million was awarded to a total of 22 communities. New London, Donnellson, and Blakesburg were all awarded their full requested amount. Congratulations New London, Donnellson, and Blakesburg! For more information regarding Sponsored Projects contact Kent Rice or Heather Thomas with our firm.

Fairfield Wastewater Treatment Plant Project Wins Award

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Iowa has announced the sludge storage tank project at the Fairfield wastewater treatment plant has won an Honor Award in their 2013 Engineering Excellence Award Competition. The Honor Award is 2nd Place in the Water and Wastewater Category among all projects in Iowa for the past year.

French-Reneker-Associates of Fairfield assisted the City of Fairfield with a solution to a critical need at their wastewater treatment facility. The project included the construction of a wastewater biosolids storage system including a 1.1-million-gallon storage tank.

This project is one of several wastewater improvement projects required by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which are now in operation. These projects were designed by French-Reneker-Associates, Inc. of Fairfield, Iowa.

The biosolids storage system was constructed by Grooms & Company Construction, Inc. of Ottumwa, Iowa, at a cost of $3,652,000.

When you reach the end of the plant’s entrance road, the silver geodesic dome roof and blue steel tank jumps into view. The tank is 90 feet in diameter and 28 feet tall. The tank walls are constructed of glass-fused-to-steel plates bolted together. The blue glass is fused to the steel plates similar to the enamel on cast iron bathroom fixtures and cookware. Neither the tank or aluminum roof will ever need painting. The tank project has been designed to minimize maintenance and to load tanker trucks quickly for optimum land application.

Adjacent to the tank is a control building, which houses air blowers, along with piping, valves, flow meters, a biosolids grinder, pumps, sensors, and controls. These components, along with others, work together to manage the biosolids produced from the biological treatment process. These biosolids are ultimately spread on farmland and replaces a portion of the fertilizer requirements and adds organics.

The project eliminates a significant bottleneck in the treatment process. Previously, there was minimal storage of biosolids which required the city’s single land application truck to operate weekly. This affected plant performance and over the years, biosolids were put in the storm water detention ponds. These ponds were initially constructed to temporarily store a portion of the excess water reaching the treatment plant and release it back to the plant when flow decreased. Adding biosolids to the storm water ponds significantly reduced capacity to temporarily store water.

Now that the biosolids storage tank is in operation, the City has removed the remainder of biosolids from the storm water detention ponds to maximize their storage capacity. This increased storage will reduce flows to the treatment plant and incrementally reduce sewer overflows, which have been the primary concern of the City and the IDNR.

This project has eliminated severe wastewater treatment plant deficiencies. There are many challenges remaining to bring the Fairfield sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment system into full compliance. This project is a significant step in bringing Fairfield into compliance with IDNR requirements.