GRAND LEDGE, Mich. — Grand Ledge is planning to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant, replacing aging equipment and preparing for projected future growth in the city.
"You have to have water. You have to have sewer. There's just no question about it. Those are essential services that we're responsible for," said City Councilman Don Willems. "And the projected growth in the city of Grand Ledge tells us that we will not be able to provide sewer if we don't expand. We have to expand."
In the next ten years, the city estimates that the population of Grand Ledge, which is now just under 8,000 people, will increase by 7.8 percent.
Willems said the plant can currently process about 1.5 million gallons of water a day and they expect the updated plant will need to process an additional 1.4 million gallons a day.
"As far as residential units, we don't know there could be industrial. There could be a car wash. There could be people that use more or less water," said Willems.
The majority of the plant's process equipment is from 1975.
Willems said they won't receive the preliminary design and finance report until April of next year. Construction probably won't be completed until 2025 he said.
At this time, there is no guarantee that residents will see an increase in water rates, but Willems said he believes they will.
"We'll probably see an increase in the sewer rates, but we're going to try to make that as affordable as possible. I think the biggest thing people need to know about water and sewer rates is that, everything we take in, we spend on water and sewer," said Willems.
The expansion to the plant will eat into the space at Fitzgerald park.
Willems said it's estimated that they're going to need three acres. According to the parks director Troy Stowell there are 64 acres of recreational land at the park.
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