G.I. Wastewater Treatment Plant to See More Upgrades

The wastewater treatment plant in Grand Island, has seen many improvements, over the last year, but city officials say more are needed over the next five years.

Staff say the waste water treatment plant has seen costly upgrades since the city council decided a year ago to keep the plant city-run.

"We're looking at an overall game plan of sixty million dollars. This is based on a comprehensive plan that was done several years ago," said Waste Water Plant Engineer Marvin Strong.

The past rate hikes put into place support $44-million of improvements to the plant, but its likely an additional rate hike will help pick up the cost for future improvements.

"Nobody wants to see a rate hike, but the simple fact is to run a system like that and to run it well it costs X amount of dollars," said City Council President Bob Niemann.

Officials have already revamped lab processes at the plant after several regulatory problems surfaced last year.

Other upgrades and improvements are needed because plant employees say some equipment is reaching fifty years old.

"And the only reason it's still functioning is because of the dedication of the people here at the plant," said Strong.

Strong says expenses have gone down, but so have revenues, and strict state and federal guidelines on the plant have employees and the city looking to improve operations for the future, which could cost taxpayers.

"To do the things they need to do to stay within the regulations you pay with it from the fees generated from the plant," said Niemann.

Strong says a rate study is expected to be ordered as early as next month.

That's when we will likely know how much of an impact you will see on your sewer bill.


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