COLUMBIANA Ideas for funding sewage plant

The city can pay only 40 percent of the project with grants.
COLUMBIANA -- An engineering consulting firm is recommending the city seek funding from a variety of sources for an estimated $11 million in improvements to the sewage treatment plant.
Tom Hall of Finkbiner, Pettis & amp; Strout consulting engineers of Akron, told city council Tuesday that sources such as tap-in or impact fees should be considered as well as grant funding.
City officials have been working with the firm for about two years, planning needed improvements at the treatment plant.
Reducing the amount of rainwater flowing into the treatment plant, increasing capacity and improving sludge treatment and storage capability are the main reasons for the improvements, Hall said.
He said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is considering the plans for approval.
After the plan is approved and the project bid, the work should take about 15 to 18 months to complete, he said.
City Manager Keith Chamberlin noted that no more than 40 percent of the project can be paid with grants but that he was pursuing grants for the maximum amount allowed.
Lance Willard, treatment plant superintendent, said OEPA officials have been pleased with improvements made at the plant and various pumping stations.
New strategy: Jay Groner, service director, said since Willard was hired five months ago he has changed the strategy of pump station maintenance from reactive to proactive. There is now more emphasis on preventive maintenance rather than simply reacting in emergencies, he said.
Willard said leaks have been repaired on several of the pumps and one pump that was not working is operating again. He said such repairs are made as money is available.

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