MIDDLEPORT — Mayor Michael Gerlach, council members and state and local officials will take shovels in hand and break ground on a $7 million sewer project about to get underway in Middleport. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Monday, and the public is invited to attend.
The village has been granted full loan forgiveness through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s funding arm, and the $7.1 million project is about to get underway. A bid was awarded on construction a month ago. It is a project years in the planning process, from a mandate from the EPA, through an extensive survey of the village’s combined storm and sanitary sewer systems, to the application for funding and approval of loan forgiveness.
Mayor Michael Gerlach said the ceremony will take place at Diles Park, and state and local officials, and representatives of the village’s engineering and construction firms are expected to attend.
The project will address dry weather overflows of sewage into the Ohio River by separating the systems, replacing lines and making other improvements designed to limit those outflows. The project will reduce the number of “outflows” into the Ohio River in keeping with current EPA standards, and finance a new vacuum truck and storage building. The truck will allow the village to adequately clean the system to eliminate maintenance issues, according to Gerlach.
Mike Enyart & Sons, South Point, is the contractor on the project. In September, council approved the company’s low bid of $6,33,138.60.
“The project will not cost residents anything, since the state funding agency associated with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has granted total loan forgiveness,” Gerlach said. The village had hoped to receive partial loan forgiveness and was pleasantly surprised earlier this year when full loan forgiveness was approved.
The project has been in the planning and engineering phase for several years, since the EPA mandated the separation of storm and sanitary sewers and a reduction in Ohio River outflows. The village mapped and filmed the entire sewer system as part of the project.
The sewer project is one of three major infrastructure projects either underway or in the planning process. In addition to the major sewer project, the village is also in the midst of a $900,000 renovation of the Middleport Elementary building as a new village hall, set to be completed by early next year. There are also plans underway for a waterline extension on Powell Street and into the Hobson community sometime next year.