OLNEY (KFDX/KJTL) — Olney city officials are looking at building a new water treatment facility for an estimated $13 million.
Building a new one is going to be a bit expensive but city officials say they are looking to gain some funding to make it all happen.
The Olney water treatment plant is old.
“We got an old water plant that was built in the 1920s. And then it was upgraded again in 1954, some more upgrades in 1986 then the last major investment to the water treatment plant was in the year 2000. Since then, we’ve been putting money back into it but nothing on a major scale,” Olney Mayor Rue Rogers said.
And it is crumbling.
“We have a lot of structural damage with our concrete that would cost thousands and thousands of dollars to fix. It’s one of my biggest worries because it holds all the treated water in it. We don’t want it to get to the point to where it could just crumble and mess up the whole treatment process,” city of Olney Water Plant Superintendent Michale Jacoba said.
But city officials have been in talks for almost a year to build a new plant.
“The plan would be to build in phases and just move 100 feet to the east and start building your basins, and then hook onto those once they’re connected. Then knockdown and then slowly just be building the plant across and in phases and ideally trying to get it done in a two-year time frame,” Rogers said.
The project is estimated to cost around $13 million. The city applied and was rejected for a small interest grant, but Rogers says even if they receive funding from elsewhere, water bills could go up regardless.
“We don’t know that yet but to fix things and correct things, it does cost money so we do have to find funding somewhere and do something, but it’s gonna be an investment that’s gonna reap benefits,” Rogers said.
Rogers says there haven’t been many problems with the water before, but the city wants to be proactive with its measures.
“We have a good functioning water treatment plant that produces close to 150 million gallons of water a year, but we’ve got aging infrastructure so let’s be proactive in our planning. Let’s put something together before it breaks, before it happens, and ensure that Olney is ahead of the curve when it comes to good, clean water for years and years to come,” Rogers said.
Setting Olney up for the future for this generation and many more to come.
Rogers says city council hopes to have a plan in motion by the end of the year.