CHARLOTTE, Mich. — The city of Eaton Rapids applied for a state loan of about $6.5 million for projects related to its wastewater system.
"Roughly $2 million of upgrades to our wastewater treatment plant. This includes a rework of the head work screen controls, the blower tank equipment, as well as some structural repairs," said Eaton Rapids City Manager Aaron Desentz. "We would be doing roughly $2.5 million on sewer main improvement, lining sewer mains, replacing sewer mains in the system where we might have some structural issues. And then lastly, we would be doing roughly $2 million to lift stations including several lift stations around the town that essentially pump untreated sewage to the wastewater treatment plant."
The wastewater treatment plant can process 1.2 million gallons of water a day. The upgrades won't increase the capacity but will allow for better processing.
Dezentz said they believe this is the right time to upgrade because of low-interest rates and aging infrastructure.
"We have a number of mains that have been in service for 40 plus years, and they've reached their life cycle. If we don't have the necessary repairs to these sewer lines, you can have leaks. You can have major issues in which untreated sewer enters the environment," he said.
The city applied to the state's Clean Water State Revolving Fund and has not been approved for the money yet but should hear back within the next couple of months.
If the loan is approved, construction would start in 2022.
If it's not approved this year, Desentz said there are a few other options like applying for the grant next year and exploring federal money through the USDA.
The city anticipates that residents will see their sewer bills increase by 6 percent per year over the next twenty years, in part to pay for the upgrades.
Grand Ledge is also planning to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. They're looking to upgrade aging equipment and expand it as they're preparing for projected future growth in the city.
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