Coalville plant gets funding
Coalville secured a solid future for its wastewater treatment facility on Wednesday. The City Council unanimously approved two resolutions for increased funding requests for construction of a new plant.
The two funding partners are the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the Utah Water Quality Board. Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt said that although the project came back a little higher than initially budgeted, it’s an important step forward for the city.
"This project is crucial for not only the city, it’s crucial for North Summit," Schmidt said. "There’s a potential for an increase in the size of service for well over the next 100 years."
The current wastewater treatment plant, located at 200 North Street, is located on land that is leased from the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). The lease is a 50-year agreement that extends through October, 2014. The new facility will be located just west of the Rail Trail at the dead end of 100 North in Coalville.
Schmidt said the BOR was not going to allow the city to continue due to federal regulations that do not allow wastewater treatment plants on federal lands. He also pointed out that the site of the old plant sits below the elevation of the crest of the Echo Dam.
"If there ever was a catastrophic flood, the old plant would be underwater," Schmidt said.
The city is still in the process of finalizing the details of the funding for the new facility, but Schmidt said Coalville was able to max out its loan amount to roughly $4 million, to be paid back over the course of 20 to 38 years through user fees.
The overall cost of the project is roughly $12 million. The funding includes a $4.1 million grant and a $1.1 million loan at zero percent interest over 20 years from the Utah Water Quality Board and a $3.7 million grant and a $2.8 million loan from USDA Rural Development. The first two years of the USDA loan will be interest only (2.75 percent), with the next 38 years being principal and interest.
Schmidt stressed that without the aid of the USDA and the Water Quality Board, the project would not have been able to be authorized.
"You can’t budget it if you don’t have the money," Schmidt said. "The approval was not only necessary, but if it wasn’t approved, we basically didn’t have enough money to do the project."
The city has elected to go with a sewer system that is gravity-fed, meaning that the need for pumping stations is drastically reduced. The stations can be quite expensive, Schmidt said, but because of the gravity feed system there are a couple of areas where deep excavation is going to be needed.
Another important feature of the new plant, Schmidt said, is that virtually all of its functions will be put inside buildings, which he touts as a "good expanse."
" putting [the functions] inside of buildings, it really helps with the life expectancy of the equipment," Schmidt said. "It also helps out with the plant operators being able to work in conditions that are not sub-zero or out in the heat."
Schmidt said the city was able to end up with a couple of different modes of operation for the plant that would facilitate nutrient removal, adding to a cleaner effluent. He is also confident that the plant could serve those in North Summit from Wanship to Coalville.
Overall, Schmidt is pleased that the Council was able to secure more funding for the project and he expects groundbreaking on the new plant to take place some time between late September and early October.
"These are complicated projects," Schmidt said. "This is a lot of work for a city our size."
For more information on Coalville’s wastewater treatment plant project, visit coalvillecity.org.
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