JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson is ready to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. According to city officials, they want to do these upgrades so you the resident can continue using water services uninterrupted.
“I think everyone can agree that the wastewater treatment plant has a huge function and is a huge help to our entire community. I think when people flush their toilets they don’t automatically think about where it’s going. But it’s up to us to keep that going,” Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick said.
The city is looking for $6 million from the state revolving fund from the EGLE department. Repaying the $6 million loan would increase the city's costs by $390,000. These numbers are projections according to Dimick and may change based on how much funding they actually receive.
“It’s definitely time to do a lot of these upgrades. The vast majority of our wastewater treatment was built in the 70s, so that is infrastructure that is well over 40 years old that really needs to be upgraded. So, this is something that we can maintain the service, maintain the quality of what we offer,” Dimick said.
Electricity upgrades as well as updating the equipment on its clarifier are the biggest items on the city’s agenda to fix at the treatment plant. The clarifier is the system where the plant receives the waste, filters the waste out, cleans it, and returns it back to the Grand River.
“There’s a lot that has to be done here that requires a lot of electricity and it requires a lot of mechanics working properly. So, this is really just ensuring the mechanics of this plant are working properly so we don’t have any issues. If we don’t do anything we’ll likely be paying more down the road to keep what we have going,” Dimick said.
There has been talk of raising water and sewer rates included in the proposed 2022 city budget as high as 12 percent for water and 4 percent for sewer, but this project is not associated with those proposed rate increases according to the city.
“That is not exactly tied to this project. That is just going to be a regular annual increase, which is a cost-of-living increase. If you’re an average user, you’re probably going to just pay a couple more dollars per pay period, so hopefully it’s something our residents wouldn’t notice,” Dimick said.
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