The city is making plans to upgrade the forty year old Smithville Water Treatment Plant.
The total project cost is estimated to be $1.4 million dollars, but the city will apply for a half million dollar Community Development Block Grant, which if approved, would help fund part of the costs. The grant program is administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
All five aldermen voted in favor of the resolution authorizing an application for the grant, following a public hearing during Monday night's city council meeting. Officials say it may be six to eight months before the city hears back on whether the application is approved.
Vantage Consulting Services will prepare all the necessary documents for the completion of the grant application at no charge to the city and will perform all administrative services for the project, should the grant be approved.
Faye Leonard of Vantage Consulting Services says the city has been fortunate to receive several CDBG grants in the past for improvements to the city's sewer system but the grant program is much more competitive these days with more applications and fewer dollars to go around. "The city has been fortunate to receive four of these block grants in the past for sewer rehab over the last several years and a lot of work has been done on the sewer system as a result, but it's getting much more difficult. There's less and less grant money, and it's becoming more competitive. Just to let you know how competitive this has gotten, this past fiscal year, 2007, there were 150 applications submitted statewide and there was only enough money to approve about sixty of those. So the grant funds are getting less and less and there's more and more applications so it's very competitive. We'll do the best we can with the application. Due to the age of the plant and the need for the project, we hope that it will score well. I'm guardedly optimistic about it. It's really a needed project but since it is so competitive and there are such few grant dollars, there's no guarantee. I just wanted to be clear about that. The last grant that was applied for under this program for sewer rehab here was not successful."
Mayor Taft Hendrixson says the city proposes to fund the local share of $900,000 over a three year period from the Smithville Water & Sewer Revenue Fund. " This $900,000 that we have proposed here as the city's share, that will be in three different budget years. It will be in the 2008-09 budget, the 2009-10 budget, and the 2010-11 budget. I talked with the engineer today and he said it will probably be late in the year 2009 before this would be a viable project ready for bid. So it would be approximately $300,000 per year in each of three years. That way you don't have to come up with all the money at the same time. This water plant is forty years old. We're doing some emergency repairs on it this year. It's something that had to be done. There has been very little repairs done on the water plant. There's not even a back up generator system down there for the intake or the water plant. That's something that I think is necessary. At least we're showing the State of Tennessee that we are willing to put money in to get their money. That plant has been good to us for a long time but it's going to have to be repaired."
J.R. Wauford & Company will produce a preliminary engineering report for the proposed project at no charge to the city. Should the grant be approved, Wauford will design plans, inspect the construction, and perform other required engineering services for the project.
The total estimated project cost is $1.4 million dollars broken down as follows:
Renovate Filters with New Underdrains and Media- $250,000
Blower and accessories for Air Scour- $40,000
New 40 HP Backwash Pump, Rebuild Existing Pump for Standby- $90,000
Convert Filter Instrumentation including Water System Telemetry- $300,000
Modifications to Existing 1967 Clearwell- $10,000
New Chemical Bulk Storage and Containment- $60,000
Electrical Work- $200,000
New Standby Generator at Intake and at Plant- $200,000
Engineering: Design- $95,000
Construction Administration and Observation- $80,000
Project Contingencies- $50,000