COVINGTON — Covington Council heard three different options in regard to fixing up their Wastewater Treatment Plant in order to better comply with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards during their meeting Tuesday evening.
The council settled on the third option — also Village Administrator Mike Busse’s recommended choice — which includes improvements to the back of the plant as well as the construction of a new UV disinfection and post-aeration facilities.
Option one included both the front-end and back-end additions to the plant. The front-end additions included improving the influent pump stations and screen facility. The back-end additions included improving the effluent pump stations and modifying to the existing chlorine contact tanks and post-air tank.
“Option one was the original proposal that we asked for from CH2MHill,” Busse said. Busse stated that design is three-quarters of the way complete. “The issue that we had with that is originally … the engineer’s estimate was roughly about $900,000 for that project. After they got in and started the design, looking at exactly what we have at the wastewater plant today and figuring how they needed to upgrade that, you can see that cost actually grew to $1,856,000.”
Busse explained that the village currently has a grant application for $375,000 and an estimated zero percent interest loan application for $375,000.
“If we maintained option one, which doing the front-end of the plant, which is pre-screening and lift station, and doing the back-end of the plant, which is raising the contact tanks and putting in the pump station at the back-end of the plant, the village’s share after the grants would be $1,106,000 based on the engineer’s design,” Busse said.
Busse then explained that they came up with the idea to split that into two projects, one focusing on the back-end of the plant first and another focusing on the front-end of the plant at a later date in at least three years. According to Busse, if they do it that way, the village can apply for the grant and the zero percent interest loan a second time, getting more outside funding and reducing how much the village has to pay for themselves.
The village then came up with two more options after considering splitting the project up into two. Option two only included the back-end additions, including improving the effluent pump stations and modifying to the existing chlorine contact tanks and post-air tank.
For option two, the estimated construction cost was $931,000. The estimated grant would pay for $375,000 and the estimated zero percent interest loan would pay for $375,000. There would be additional design costs of $79,000.
The balance to be funded locally would be $260,000. The zero percent loan annual payback of $12,500, additional loan annual payback of $26,040, annual cost per customer of $33.51, and monthly cost per customer of $2.79.
Option three includes only the back-end additions. It also included the demolition of the existing chlorine contact tanks and post-aeration tank and the construction of a new UV disinfection and post-aeration facilities. According to information provided by Busse, “the effluent pump station will be shifted north to accommodate the new facilities. Re-routing of the final clarifier effluent piping and post-air piping is included. The force main and valves to the sludge drying beds would be eliminated and the drain lines and valves from the existing chlorine contact tanks would be eliminated.”
“My recommendation is that we proceed with option three because it’s the best long-term choice for the village of Covington,” Busse said.
For option three, the estimated construction cost was $1,399,000. The estimated grant would pay for $375,000 and the estimated zero percent interest loan would pay for $375,000. There would be additional design costs of $116,000.
The balance to be funded locally would be $765,000. The zero percent loan annual payback of $12,500, additional loan annual payback of $91,152, annual cost per customer of $90.13, and monthly cost per customer of $7.51.
The extra cost behind option three is the new UV disinfection and post-aeration facilities. Busse stated that their current chlorine system needs safety upgrades and there may come a time when they can no longer use chlorine at all to disinfect their wastewater. It would prevent the village from having to do away with their chlorine system at a later date.
“Anybody that’s designing a new plant doesn’t design it with chlorine,” Busse said.
Also on the agenda, the council held the second readings of ordinances regarding parking prohibitions. The first ordinance is in regard to parking in the downtown, which was amended to allow for three-hour parking on High Street in the downtown area. It was also amended to prohibit parking in the municipal parking lots between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. versus between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The second ordinance is in regard to long-term parking within the village of Covington. It was amended last week to remove the restriction of parking on a side yard of a residentially-zoned property. That is still prohibited in by the village’s zoning code, but the Covington Police Department will not be able to issue tickets for this violation.
Concerns were raised about employee parking for businesses in the downtown as well as rental properties that do not have their own parking.
“It’s a difficult situation,” Busse said in regard to the renters. “That’s what started this whole discussion,” Busse explained that the Covington Police Department received complaints about renters parking in front of their businesses.
The council also stated that they are working on creating a solution to provide more parking for the employees of downtown businesses. There are a couple of properties the village either recently purchased or is has an agreement to purchase that could be used for more more parking in the future.
The following items were also approved during council’s meeting:
• The purchase of water meters from Buckeye Pipe in the amount of $20,091.65
• Waiving the three-reading rule and adopting the 2016 Ohio Basic Code
• Waiving the three reading rule and authorizing Busse to purchase properties from the Safe Routes to School Project for approximately $18,550
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall