POMEROY — The Meigs County Commissioners signed initial paperwork during Thursday’s meeting for more than $1.5 million in funding toward the Rutland sewer system upgrade.
Gordan Parker from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) met with the commissioner for more than an hour during Thursday’s regular meeting to explain how the funding works and the conditions which must be meet to receive the funding.
A total of $1.015 million will be grant funds, with a loan not to exceed $500,000.
According to the project budget attached to the “Letter of Conditions,” the nearly $4 million project will also include $2.1 million in grant funding from the US Army Corps of Engineers and a $250,000 Appalachian Regional Commission Grant.
As previously reported, the commissioners and numerous other agencies have worked for several months to secure a design plan for a new system as well as funding.
The new system which is being planned is expected to take less to run, meaning that additional funds will be able to go toward paying off the debt that is owed currently. The system that is being planned for the village is similar to what is used in rural areas out west, which is similar to a septic tank system in which only the liquid is pumped from the tank. Then, as part of routine maintenance the tank would be pumped. The system would also use less electricity than the current system.
The new system will replace the failing grinder pump system which was first installed in the 1990s.
When the commissioners acquired the system it was approximately $600,000 in debt. In the first year the county had the system an additional $300,000 was advanced from the county general fund into what became known as the Meigs County Water and Sewer District. Much of the advance was for parts and supplies to operate the failing system.
As part of the planning and financing for the new system, the commissioners will be able to refinance the remaining loan on the grinder pump system which is estimated to be $460,000 according to the project budget.
The commissioners will also be completing upgrades to the computer and billing systems as part of the project, in addition to the work at the treatment plant in Rutland. Parker asked that the commissioners and those involved in the technical side of things research the possible systems to see what will best meet the needs of the system and its 251 customers.
With the letter of intent to meet the conditions of the loan/grant signed, as well as the request for obligation of funds, the USDA can move ahead with securing the funds from the federal government for the project.
Parker explained that the Rutland project was the only one funded in the state of Ohio from the national pool of funds for this round of funding.
Over the next few months leading up to the bidding process and the closing of the loan documents, Parker said that they will be working to complete a “Processing Checklist” to ensure that each step of the process is complete and the documents needed are all in place.