PIQUA —The Piqua City Commission voted to move forward with the city’s $42 million improvement project for the Wastewater Treatment Plant during their meeting Tuesday evening.
“As with the Water Treatment Plant, we expect this facility is going to serve the needs of the community for decades,” City Manager Gary Huff said, explaining that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring the city to eliminate its sanitary sewer overflow (SSO). “This is a major project, of course, but it’s also one that we have to complete.”
The commission approved preliminary consent to award a contract not to exceed $42,314,738 to Peterson Construction Company for the expansion and upgrades of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The contract includes a 5 percent contingency. The preliminary consent is necessary in order for the city to receive a loan from the Ohio EPA Department of Environmental Financial Assistance (DEFA) for the project.
“The EPA requires this upgrade. We have no option to say, ‘no,’” Commissioner Joe Wilson said. “I know it’s a very high number, but that’s the cost of the construction nowadays, and we have no option to say anything but ‘yes’ and get the best price we can and to get the facilities going.”
If the city does not comply, the city could be faced with fines upward of $50,000 from the U.S. EPA.
During public comment, Jon Wessel of Piqua asked how many times SSO has occurred in the last year.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Chris Melvin said that SSO, or untreated wastewater, has overflowed into the Great Miami River six times this year. Melvin noted that 2011 was a particularly wet year and that SSO went into the river during the entire month of December that year.
Melvin noted that the city has explored other options to solve this issue, including installing a pipe under the river and an EQ basin. When asked if these upgrades were the cheapest solution for the city, Melvin and Huff ultimately said that they were.
In addition to eliminating SSO, the expansion and upgrades for the Wastewater Treatment Plant will include a number of other improvements. Those include increasing the plant’s capacity to treat wet-weather flow without sewer back-ups and treatment tank overflows and the addition of oxidation ditches for biological removal of organics from incoming wastewater. Another notable component to the project is that the plant’s existing chlorine contact tank will also be retrofitted with an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system, which is expected to be an updated, safer, and more effective disinfection technology.
The project is expected to be completed by summer 2020.
The commission also approved an intent to award a resolution amending the contract with CDM Smith to include construction administration and applications engineering services for the Wastewater Treatment Plant project. That contract is not to exceed $5,445,400, which includes a 5 percent contingency.
Following that, the commission approved an intent to award a resolution requesting authorization to enter into an agreement with Bowser-Morner, Inc. for testing and observation services for the Wastewater Treatment Plant project. The contract is not to exceed $335,008, which includes a 5 percent contingency. Bowser-Morner will oversee materials testing aspects of the plant construction to ensure quality assurance and quality control.
Both of those resolutions are required in order to receive a loan from DEFA. The actual contracts, including the construction contract to Peterson Construction, will be awarded once the loan is secured.
Apart from the Wastewater Treatment Plant project, the commission approved the following legislation:
• A resolution of intent to vacate public right-of-way located in the Deerfield area for the purpose of further development
• A resolution accepting a budget for the calendar year 2018
• Entering into an agreement with Levin Porter Architects for the design and construction management for a new Health and Sanitation Facility at a cost not to exceed $202,950
• Awarding a contract to Perrty Protech, Inc. and GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation for the lease of copiers for the city at an annual cost of $30,000
• Awarding a contract to Walls Bros. Asphalt Co., Inc. for the Covington Avenue resurfacing project at a cost not to exceed $590,000, of which 75 percent is being funded by a grant from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
• The submission of Community Development Block Grant Community Development Allocation program and Downtown Revitalization program applications
• Entering into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation-Office of Aviation for the fiscal year 2017 Ohio Airport Grant Program for the installation of the Precision Approach Path Indicator
Mayor Kazy Hinds also issued a proclamation designating this week as National Sanitation Workers Appreciation Week, presenting it to the Health and Sanitation Department Director Amy Welker and thanking the employees for their work.
Commission Judy Terry was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336