MOUNT VERNON — Having received Permits-To-Install from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency this week, county officials and engineers from ADR & Associates Ltd., were ready to plunge waist-deep into details. The main matter at hand were pre-design construction cost estimates for the upgrade of the Little Jelloway wastewater treatment plant. These upgrades are a necessary step required both because of current EPA regulations and because of the extra load it will be carrying when sewer service is extended to Millwood in the first phase of the countywide hamlet sewer project.
ADR Project Manager Jeffery Carr presented a rough estimate of possible costs he had devised with the assistance of ADR’s Craig Landefeld. Total costs were estimated at $3,728,877, but when the officials went through the plan item by item, they decided that it would be worth the savings to delete a proposed cover for one of the wastewater sediment ponds, saving $722,500. On the other hand, it was decided to upgrade to a full-mix lagoon design, instead of the early proposed partial mix. Though that will add a little cost into that section of the plan, it may make it possible to cut other items in the design and is more likely to hold up to changing EPA standards over the years.
“We need to go for better if the costs are close, rather than be here again in a few years,” said Commissioner Allen Stockberger, who added that he hoped to design the possible upgrades to last as long as the financing bond to pay for the project, which is likely to be 20 or 30 years.
With the assumption of upgrading to a full-mix lagoon, a further allowance for lab equipment upgrades was struck from the estimate, and it was decided to save more by cutting previous plans to pave the lot and lanes of the wastewater treatment plant. Although Carr will have to work up new numbers for the upgrades, the deletions could save almost $1 million from the project.
Meanwhile, Carr will be filling out applications for any other stimulus grants the hamlet projects could get, while Stockberger will be traveling to New York City along with county bond counsel in order to promote Knox County to the bond-rating investment banks. The commissioners are also inquiring with neighboring counties to see if any of them won’t be using Recovery Zone Bond stimulus funds, which would help finance the massive hamlets project.