Fairfield to construct new multi-million dollar wastewater treatment building
FAIRFIELD, Ohio – Fairfield will take advantage of a low-interest loan program from Ohio to construct a new mixed-use building at its wastewater treatment plant.
The city will spend more than $ 2.5 million to build a new multi-purpose treatment facility this year, which will be funded in part by recent increases in water and sewer rates. But the initial costs will be funded by new debt from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.
“This is the first time that the City of Fairfield has used this program, but the program is basically designed for purposes like this, for municipalities, counties and townships looking to improve water and sewers,” said Adam Sackenheim, director of public services for Fairfield.
Using the loan fund program, the city will save about $ 600,000 by not taking out municipal bonds, he said. The city has locked in an interest rate of 0.43%, which means it will pay less than $ 120,000 over the 20-year loan term, or less than $ 6,000 per year.
“This is a program that I will look to use more often as we make larger water and sewer improvements if this is a project that is going to require us to incur additional debt. Instead of going into the municipal bond market, which we’ve done historically, much like the private market, we’ll try to use that public money because it’s more profitable, ”Sackenheim said.
According to plans, the multi-purpose building will be constructed at the Groh Lane Wastewater Treatment Plant to include the dewatering sludge. The current sludge dewatering system is now over 25 years old “and is nearing the end of its useful life,” Sackenheim said.
For at least the next five years, the city will use the second half of the multipurpose hall as storage, he said. The city recently renewed its state permits and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency does not require any phosphorus discharge limits, which it has in other wastewater treatment plants in the state. Sackenheim expects limits in the city’s next permit in 2026.
Whenever phosphorus discharge limits are imposed, Sackenheim said, they will have to put in place a chemical treatment system.
“Over the next five to ten years, we will likely have a new limit in our discharge permit, which will require us to process phosphorus,” he said.
Too much phosphorus, which is often found in fertilizers, feeds algae in waterways, such as lakes, streams, and rivers. Too much can make algae blooms poisonous, killing fish and making them dangerous for recreation.
Council last month approved a $ 2.53 million contract, which includes contingencies, with Performance Construction. The offer is lower than the engineer’s estimate of $ 2.7 million.
The project also includes an additional $ 50,000 in non-contractual credits for various other support services related to the project, according to the city.
Construction is expected to take a year and will begin on April 1.
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