POMEROY — Local residents and property owners received information on the upcoming 833 Sewer Expansion project during a public meeting on Wednesday evening.
Pomeroy Mayor Don Anderson, Engineer Mitch Altier and Meigs County Health Department Environmental Health Director Steve Swatzel provided residents with information on the upcoming project and what to expect in the coming months.
Altier, who works with IBI, explained that the project first came about 8 to 10 years ago when the EPA was looking at issue areas, including possible unsanitary conditions in streams and ditches.
As Pomeroy village was the nearest sewer district, the EPA approached them about expansion into the area. Altier explained that the village has sought funding on four or five different occasions and was awarded a grant for 100 percent funding last year.
Additionally, the village has received two grants from Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio grant program, including the most recent which will cover the cost of hooking the residences up to the new system, eliminating an estimated $6,500 cost for each property owner.
Altier credited the work of the village in pursuing the grant funds, stating this is the first time in this many years working such projects that he has seen the project and hook ups for all residences 100 percent funded. He added that residents should thank the village and Governor’s office.
The initial grant award from the Ohio EPA was $3.7 million, with two additional grants of $500,000 coming from H2Ohio funds.
The project has currently been working through the process of acquiring easements for the project. Should all the easements be received, the project could go out to bid in April, with a bid opening mid-summer.
Altier advised that a delay in easements could create project delays and loss of funding should the delays be long term.
The project will go from the village out State Route 833 and a portion of Pomeroy Pike, ending near the Meigs Medical Complex where the Holzer Emergency Department, Robert E. Byer Emergency Operations Center and Hopewell Health Centers are located.
Altier said the project would then be awarded to the “lowest and best” bid for the contractor to complete the project. Another public meeting is likely after the contract is awarded to provide impacted residents with additional details and information.
Altier said that sewer projects do not move quickly and will be messy as it moves forward.
He clarified that the system will be a gravity feed system, not a grinder pump system. All lines will feed to a lift station and ultimately to the village sewer treatment plant for processing.
One contractor would be selected for the project, with a second bid process for the hook ups which would take place after the initial installation.
The hookup process would include the abandonment of existing septic tanks and permits related to the process. All of this would be handled by the contractor, taking the burden of the work off the property owner.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.