Coalville’s new waste water facility takes over city’s services
September 15, 2015
For more than a month, Coalville’s new multi-million dollar waste water treatment facility has been fully operational.
The $12 million facility came online toward the end of July and has completely taken over the city’s waste water services from the old structure, Mayor Trever Johnson said. For several weeks, waste water was transferred to the new location and both facilities were operating.
A ribbon cutting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 11:45 a.m. at the six-acre facility, located at 63 west 100 North, in Coalville. A public open house is scheduled between 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. that same day. City leaders, funding partners and representatives from the engineering firm responsible for the facility are expected to attend the ceremony, Johnson said.
The new facility is configured for a 20-year lifespan, with the ability to double its capacity to respond to growth. It is capable of handling 580,000 gallons per day in its current configuration.
"To be able to grow at all, and I mean at all, you have to have infrastructure," Johnson said. "And the two aging infrastructures for the city have been sewer and water. The sewer has been taken care to address any growth for the next 20 years, so the next thing we are tackling is water."
Johnson, who was elected mayor in 2013, inherited the project from his predecessor former mayor Duane Schmidt. Officials began exploring the need for the new facility in 2006 and with the federal government’s refusal to renew the original 50-year lease, which expired at the first of the year, the new site was purchased. Ground was broken in the fall of 2013.
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"I want to give our prior mayor a lot of credit," Johnson said. "He is the one who really did the ground work and laid the foundation for it. He did a lot of good things for Coalville and this is one of them."
The majority of the project, about $8 million, was funded through grants. The remaining portion, approximately $4 million, was bonded and paid for through increased sewer rates. The council has historically been unwilling or unable to raise rates, Johnson said.
"Coalville has had a very low sewer bill and it got to the point where it wasn’t even covering operating costs to the plant," he said. "Coalville residents have seen a pretty lenient bill for the last 15 to 20 years."
Since 2011, Coalville has increased sewer rates in increments of $4 per year. The sewer rate has gone from $28 to $44.
"I felt it, everyone felt it. But right now it’s on par with what you would expect to pay," Johnson said.
In April, city officials said the facility was 95 percent complete. It went through several tests during the summer as waste water was transferred to the new location. The old facility, located at 200 North, will be torn down once the city’s equipment is removed.
The new facility not only updates the city’s sewer system, it also puts it in a "great position to grow," Johnson said.
"We’ve talked with the county and are very willing to take any additional capacity they may have because we have the sewer system to do that now. This just opens up all kinds of opportunities from Coalville all the way down to Wanship," Johnson said.
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