USB Hears Report on Water Treatment Plants

The Utility Service Board heard a report Monday night on the current and future status of the water treatments plants from Wessler Engineering. USB Chairman Mike Kelley was asked his thoughts on the report.

“It’s really not much of an advantage for us to even think about probably rehabilitating what we call the McKinley Avenue plant,” said Kelley. “The cost is astronomically high compared to what it would take to do what it was intended when we established the west plant at Armstrong Road. It was built to be expanded and it’s pretty well ready to go.”

Dreama Doolittle of Wessler said it would take $2.8 million to rehabilitate the McKinley water treatment plant and $1.6 million to expand the newer Armstrong Road water treatment plant. The McKinley plant was built in the 1950s and has a 5.8 million gallon daily capacity. The Armstrong Road plant was built in 2011 and has a six million gallon daily capacity which can be upgraded to nine million per day.

Doolittle also said the USB needs to conduct a water acquifer analysis to determine the exact amount of water that is currently in it. She said that would cost about $50,000. She added a water loop needed to be installed at the Jefferson water tower which would cost around $1.2 million.

Kelley added a right hike might be needed to pay for the project.

“Unfortunately, it will probably come down to rate payers,” said Kelley. “We have saved some money over the years. But it will still probably take some adjustments on the rates.”

Kelley said it would be at least March or April before a decision would be made on which direction to go.