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By MARTY FINLEY
ELIZABETHTOWN — The city of Elizabethtown took a considerable step forward earlier this week in the expansion of its Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, securing an agreement with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority for financing that should cover the entire cost of the project.
City council approved a resolution Monday to accept $21,192,000 in low-interest loan funding to make needed improvements to the facility, which treats sewage and releases the outflow into Valley Creek. The city also placed $5 million in the 2008-09 Fiscal Year budget for initial stages of the project earlier this year. The agreement will take effect at the earliest time allotted by law, according to the resolution.
As part of the expansion, the treatment plant will receive some upgraded equipment, including new pumping facilities and biological treatment units, officials say.
Growth of the city has led to increased demand on the facility, officials said, and the plant is strained further during heavy rainfalls. But, unlike now, after the expansion all sewage will be treated fully when these heavy rains occur.
Scott Fiepke, engineer for the waste and wastewater department, said plans and design specifications for the project have been ongoing for about two years, and recently were completed. The state mandated the expansion because regulations call for one when a facility reaches 90 percent capacity.
Fiepke said the bid request for construction has just been released and there is a pre-construction meeting scheduled for January. The city plans to advertise for construction bids in two weeks and Fiepke said the bids likely would be in by the end of January.
Fiepke said there is no definitive timeline for completion of the project, but Finance Director Steve Park has said it could take up to three years.
Park said earlier this year that it will take at least 20 years to repay the loan.
Fiepke said the city is gearing up for the construction phase.
“We’re looking forward to getting this project under way,” he said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.