Why is the Wastewater Treatment Plant being updated?
When the Ohio EPA issued our current NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit the levels of nutrient pollution, primary ammonia/nitrogen and phosphorus, were reduced by 60 %. Our new discharge limits go into effect March 1, 2020. Lakengren Water Authority is in compliance with our discharge permit at this time. However, without improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant we would not be able to comply with the new standards imposed by the Ohio EPA.
The LWA hired Mote & Associates, Inc. to evaluate our Wastewater treatment plant and recommend a solution that would allow us to remain in compliance with our NPDES permit. After evaluation of the current treatment plant design and past records, it was determined that the solution would be to install a new treatment process. With the addition of this treatment process we are also required to update all aspects of the treatment plant. This includes backup generation and sludge handling and disposal. In other words, we have to bring the plant up to current standards.
What is the estimated timeline for the Construction Project?
Timeline for Wastewater Improvement Project:
- Bids opened and read on 10/10/2018
- Public meeting held at lodge on 10/23/2018
- Board passed resolution to accept low bid submitted by Building Craft on 10/24/2018
- Financing to be awarded December, 2018
- Estimated Construction start date: March, 2019
- Project completion required by 1/31/2021
What is the projected cost of the project?
Projected Project Costs:
$6,321,000 Bid for the project, including clarifier covers.
$495,500 Engineering, legal, and permit fees.
$445,000 Contingency to cover unanticipated costs (Not borrowed if not used).
$368,500 Sludge press equipment handled under a separate bid.
-$230,000 OPWC Grant
-$100,000 Generator/Pump Grant money
$7,300,000 Total Projected Cost
We have obtained OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) grant money in the amount of $230,000 that will go towards the sludge press. We will receive another grant of $100,000 to go towards the purchase of a backup generator and high efficiency pumps and motors. The nutrient reduction portion of this project is 0% interest money. The nutrient reduction portion comprises of about 75% of the project. The interest for financing this project is projected to be about 0.45%.
What is it going to cost the property owners of Lakengren?
There are 1,992 parcels in Lakengren. With the projected cost of $7,300,000, the estimated per parcel assessment will be $3,664.66 before interest over a 30-year period. Including interest, it comes out to $3,920.00. If a property owner chooses to have their property assessed rather than paying the full amount up front, each parcel they own will be assessed $130.80 per year over a 30-year period. Combining of contiguous lots on to a single parcel to avoid multiple assessments may be done. To request a combination, property owner’s must do so in writing at the Preble County Auditor's office. Application for combination of parcels must be submitted to the Preble County Auditor by January 1, 2019 and the process must be completed by March 31, 2019. Property owner’s will receive a certified letter in the mail from our attorneys, Albers & Albers, informing them of the projected assessment amounts prior to construction being completed. Upon completion of the project, property owner’s will receive a second letter in the same manner informing them of the final assessment amount.
Up until 2018 all lots were assessed a $52 per year M&O (Maintenance & Operation) charge. This represents $116,000 yearly revenue for Lakengren Water Authority. This charge will no longer appear on your tax bill. It is the position of the LWA that assessments should pay for capital improvements and M&O charges should be paid by the users. Effective with the first monthly bill due in January, 2019, there will be a $7 -$10 a month increase in your sewer usage charge to replace the M&O charge billed on property taxes previously.
Timeline for Billing/Assessment Changes:
1. $52 per year M&O assessment removed from the tax bill for 2019.
2. M&O charge will appear on monthly bill in an amount of $7-$10 effective Jan, 2019.
3. The WWTP Improvement assessment of $130.80 per parcel per year will appear on tax bill effective 2022.