LINCOLN, Maine — A $2.65 million allocation of federal stimulus funds awarded this week will defray the cost to the town’s 1,200 sanitary district customers of a third and final upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment system, officials said Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $1.95 million grant and $700,000 loan as part of funds distributed to Maine through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, U.S. Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins said in a joint statement.
“This critical funding will not only repair and improve sewer infrastructure but will create crucial jobs in the process,” Snowe and Collins said. “By investing in rural infrastructure, these USDA programs will help Maine communities provide essential services, boost economic growth, and increase the quality of life for residents throughout the area.”
Lincoln Sanitary District board members will meet at the district office today to sign for the funds, district Superintendent Darold Wooley said Tuesday. Among other things, the funds will pay for a secondary water clarifying system and solids dewatering equipment at the Haynes Street wastewater treatment facility.
“The equipment is 27 years old,” Wooley said. “The normal equipment life is between 20 and 30 years, so we are at the end of its useful life. Some of these items you cannot even buy parts for anymore.
“It will simply maintain the treatment quality of the water, rather than allowing an equipment failure,” he added.
The new equipment should be ready by fall 2010. Project design will occur over the summer, the construction bid process this winter and construction next spring, Wooley said.
The sewer rate paid by the town’s 1,200 customers, $6.93 per 100 cubic feet of water, likely will increase as the district assumes the $700,000 debt, plus 2.6 percent interest. That impact will be determined later this year, Wooley said.
“We really don’t need to worry about it until the fall. We won’t be spending the money for a bit,” Wooley said. “In terms of actual operating costs, there will be a net decrease because of savings caused by maintenance cost reductions.”
Earlier grants paid for Phase II, the $500,000 replacement of drives and pumps at the Creamery Court and Military Road pumping stations and replacement of the Enfield Road and MacKenzie Avenue pumping stations, Wooley said.
Phase I replaced the Haynes Street treatment facility’s secondary treatment system for $2.3 million. Both phases occurred in 2005 and 2006, he said.