Earlier this month, Coalville City approved the awarding of the contract for a new, soon-to-be-constructed wastewater treatment plant. After an eight-year process, the city will finally begin construction on the new plant next week.
Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt, who said he has been working on getting the treatment plant approved during his entire time as mayor, said he is pleased with the approved loans and grants that were received.
"We came in a little bit over-budget we did have to scramble a little bit," Schmidt said. "We were capable of coming up with more grant money to pay for it."
The final approved funding is just over $8 million in grants and just under $4 million in loans from both the Utah Division of Water Quality and the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service.
Walt Baker, Director of the Utah DWQ, said his division gave Coalville $4,121,000 in grants and $1,144,000 in loans. The bid amounts ended up being higher than initially anticipated, but Baker attested to the necessity of the new treatment plant.
"There were changes that resulted in significant cost increases," Baker said. "The reality is that's what it's going to take to build this new plant."
"We've been working with the city for two or three years [on this]," Baker said. "We've seen the need to effectively build a new wastewater treatment plant with the old one being in Bureau of Reclamation land and under a high water line."
Schmidt said the city has issued a notice to the contractor regarding the project, and groundbreaking should begin by Oct. 1. The city also put a bid out on a needed bridge over Icy Springs Road, which should be awarded in the next week or so.
Baker stressed the need that Coalville has had to replace a treatment plant that has been in use since 1964.
"They're using bubble gum and baling wire to keep that plant together right now," Baker said. "This new plant will be a state-of-the-art plant it'll get them to where they need to be. It'll be much better for the community."
Schmidt said the new plant should serve Coalville for the next 100 years and provide the city with the ability to grow.
"The next thing the community will be working on is getting more culinary water," Schmidt said. "Coalville is primed for growth. That's one of the things Coalville really needs to do, we need to grow."
The new plant will provide a dramatic increase in capacity, and Schmidt said it should not need significant repairs for the next 50 years.
"We can mirror image the plant that we have and double our capacity," Schmidt said. "This will allow our community to take on developments that could be several hundred homes without any problem at all."
"The [Water Quality] Board is satisfied. We're appreciative of Coalville and their efforts to bite the bullet on what will be a very costly public works project," Baker said.
Schmidt said there are "so many fingerprints" on this project, and he wanted to thank everyone who has been involved with moving the project forward, from former Utah Sen. Robert Bennett to the staff in the city office.
"Everybody that was involved knows that they were involved," Schmidt said. "It's been a lot of work. It's been a long journey."