Ellsworth council to meet about $4.3M wastewater plant funds

Posted Dec. 23, 2010, at 10:30 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:53 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — City councilors will meet next week to determine funding for the city’s new wastewater treatment plant.

The special session is set for 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, in council chambers.

The councilors will consider an additional $4.3 million in funding for the project, with most of the sum acquired through a municipal general obligation bond. According to City Manager Michelle Beal, the bond request will total $3.6 million, and will provide $2 million to cover a portion of the project that had not yet been funded, as well as $1.6 million to cover the construction bid for the project, which came in higher than estimated.

Councilors also will be asked to approve a $700,000 construction loan to install the outflow lines from the plant.

The special meeting was necessary, Beal said Thursday, because the city plans to seek the bond money from the Maine Municipal Bond Bank at an interest rate of between 1 and 1.25 percent. Beal explained that the request for the bond needs council approval before the bond bank board meets in January.

The city has been working on the wastewater treatment project for several years and the new bonding would be the final funding piece for the new facility. The total cost of $19,961,421 is being funded through a combination of state and federal grants and loans. The city has obtained almost $8.6 million in grant funding, and will borrow about $11.3 million, which includes this final borrowing package.

Portions of the project already have been completed, including new sewer lines running to the new plant site on Bayside Road, new pump stations and a portion of the access road to the plant site. The councilors in November awarded a $14 million contract for the actual construction of the plant.

Crews are expected to begin work on clearing the site after New Year’s. The contractor will need to build another 300 feet of access road to the site in addition to the buildings for the treatment plant. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, and the plant should be up and running by March 2013.

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