Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — There’s still a bit of time before city officials can break out shovels, smiles and sighs of relief for the groundbreaking of the new water treatment plant on State Route 66. As Don Freisthler, water system superintendent, and David Burtner, director of utilities, provided an estimate of late summer into September of this year for construction to start. Their discussion revolving around a look into where we were, where we are and where we are headed to be provided by Bob Yoxthimer, a representative from CDM Smith, a consulting and engineering firm who has worked on a number of projects with the city of Piqua throughout the years, at a Thursday, May 8, commission work session.
“We’re finally starting to look at the other side of the mountain,” said Burtner of a process that began well over six years ago and made solid progress after the purchase of nearly 40 acres at the future site of the new plant back in 2011. “We’ve come a long way.”
Indeed, after finding the right property that would not leave the new plant landlocked or create too significant of a challenge to connect into the current system, an archaeological land study had to be performed given the historical significance of the area and its proximity to Johnston Farm.
Then came the plant design with the final prints of the structure currently in the hands of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) with a normal time period of 3-months before receipt of commentary. Though nothing regarding the plans should come as a surprise to the OEPA given CDM Smith has been in constant communication with the agency throughout the process, from preliminary to the final prints provided in February, explained Freisthler.
Likewise, the water treatment plant facilitators have kept the OEPA current on the new plant’s status via a revolving six-month formal letter, given the current plant will be 90 years old next year, and as a courtesy.
Once the prints are returned, a final review will be done with CDM Smith in preparation for the bidding process, the latter which could take as long as 30 days considering the enormity of the project, with expectations of several bidders to respond, even some from out of state.
However, from the time of the groundbreaking it will be 18 months to 2 years before the new plant is operational, dependent on weather, among other potentials, said Freisthler.
“It’s going to be a lengthy, big project,” said Burnter with the process to be broken down into two projects. An off-site piping as one project and the plant construction a second.
The water plant design commission work session meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 8, on the second floor of the Government Municipal Complex, in the commission chamber. The public is encouraged and invited to attend.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall