OLNEY (KFDX/KJTL) — For years now, the city of Olney has been on the move to update its 100-year-old water treatment plant.
“The City Council started looking at across the city where we are most vulnerable and where we needed to have some updates. Looking at water infrastructure, that was the main concern in area of focus and the water treatment plant being the area where we wanted to start,” city of Olney Mayor Rue Rogers said.
A more than $13 million decision which was recently approved by City Council.
“We needed to be able to treat the water we have, that it’s then propped to the pipes through the water meters and the water towers into your home, business, school, hospital but it all has to be treated,” Rogers said.
With the century-old water plant being the oldest piece of infrastructure in town they made it their first concern.
“We feel like we have arrived at the best option and we are excited that we have secured the funding and excited to address this need that’s in our community. That’s gonna set us up to have good treated water for many years to come,” Rogers said.
The water plant treatment operation not only facilitates but gives citizens access to clean water.
“The chemicals act and drop out the larger particulate and clarify the water, and then that way there is less material once they get to the filters. So when we come out the other side, it’s basically done at this point,” Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Parker said.
To foot the bill, the city sold $13.5 million in revenue bonds and plan on repaying through revenue generated by the water sales. And, while citizens may see an increase, Rogers says with inflation they’re doing all they can to limit the burden on taxpayers.
“In that short of time the project and interest increased over $2 million so we had to revaluate all those prices but we want to do everything we can to keep the burden on the citizens as low as possible. But at the same time making those hard decisions of what do we have to do ensure that we have treated water for our community,” Rogers said.
Construction is expected to start by the end of this year and have a treatment plant that will last another 100 years.