Hillsboro OKs add-ons for sewer project

The Hillsboro City Council agreed at its May 5 meeting to designate about $800,000 in leftover funding capacity for additional projects, equipment and materials related to the city?s wastewater-treatment system.

City Administrator Larry Paine said he was confident the city would have at least that much money available once all of the expenses from the recent lagoon project are covered.

To fund the project, which replaced the city?s outdated treatment plant with an expansive lagoon system east of town, the city was approved for a $4.552 million loan and a $750,000 grant through USDA Rural Develop?ment Agency?$5.3 million total.

Paine said it appears the city will spend just over $3.87 million for construction and to refinance three existing bond issues. That should leave about $682,110 in loan capacity, plus all of the $750,000 grant.

RDA policy allows leftover funding to be used for improvements to the city?s overall wastewater system. It also requires that the loan be fully spent before any of the ?free? grant money can be tapped.

Determined not to overcommit to ?extras? before knowing final project expenses?as occurred during the water-treatment plant renovation a couple of years ago?Paine identified $800,000 as a ?safe target? for an initial phase of add-ons.

Those add-ons will include odor-control equipment, renovation of three older pumping stations, mowing equipment for the lagoon berms, a camera for sewer-line inspection, manhole rehabilitation and at least 10,000 linear feet of sewer-pipe liner.

If funds are still available after those items are paid for, a second phase of improvements will be pursued.

Paine said the importance of manhole rehab and pipe liner was reinforced after a recent heavy rain increased the number of gallons running through the sewage treatment plant from the usual 400,000 to 500,000 gallons per day to 1 million.

Paine attributed much of the spike to rainwater seeping into the system through faulty manholes and cracked sewer lines.

For the complete report of the May 5 Hillsboro City Council go to hillsborofreepress.com.

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