Thursday, October 07, 2010

Long-term planning: WPCA reviews sewer plant improvements

I've spoken with the WPCAs Chairman, John Atwood, a couple times about the status of the tentatively proposed $30 million sewer plant improvement project. Here's a synopsis of the most recent status update he's given me:

The WPCA put an extensive amount of time developing a facility plan that took a 20 year forward look – these included many special meetings focused exclusively on the facility plan, where the WPCA invited everyone one to participate and assist them in making the correct decisions. Similar to the improvements with the plant (the $30million plus project) the WPCA has done the same following the facility plan. The treatment plant improvement plan, has taken a short term, long term, and an economic view on the plant as a whole; furthermore the members have further broken down (what ever can be broken down) into discrete sections and done a further analysis.

Right now there are two moving variables that are major impactors:

1) What rules are the WPCA working under? Specifically what are the phosphor limits to be maintained in 2011, 2012, 2015, and moving forward? What other limits if any will be changed by the State or EPA that the WPCA will have to meet and adhere to?

2) How will this be financed? Specifically what rules will be in place that will decide on what municipal waste water projects will receive financial support from the State and/or Federal government?

I appreciate the efforts of the entire WPCA. It's quite likely the Council will soon be asking the taxpayers for $30,000,000 for plant improvements. The Council is going to need to know this project has been well vetted, including both a review of anticipated initial and long-term costs.

Tim White

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