MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Village Council recently gave final approval for the major water system improvement project which has been in the planning stages for several years.
According to news release provided by Mayor Fred Hoffman, this project will provide some much needed improvements to parts of the system which need it the most.
The news release further stated, the project will include the replacement of many deteriorated water lines, some of which are asbestos pipe which is no longer recommended for use in water systems. The project will include the replacement of the cast iron line which runs on North Second Avenue and Mill Street through the business district. This line was installed almost 90 years ago and, due to its age, is prone to numerous line breaks which are difficult to repair on this old line. Numerous lead service lines will also be replaced during this project. These are no longer recommended for water systems.
Replacement of lines on South Third Avenue will also be a part of this project. This area has had water pressure problems for years which is a problem in case of fires and makes it difficult for our fire department to control fires in that area. New six inch lines will also be installed on Page Street in order to provide adequate pressure for firefighting in that area, along with improvements in residential and commercial services.
New vaults will be installed at all three wells to provide better access and treatment of the water from these wells. The Mill Street water tank will also be painted and any necessary maintenance will be performed. This tank was installed in the 60s and is a vital part of the water system along with the tank on Vine Street. A new meter and vault will also be installed at the emergency connection with Pomeroy at the corporation line. This connection provides an emergency source of water for the village in the event that something would happen within the Middleport system.
“Major improvements have not been made in our water system for many years and the time has come when we need to invest money into the system in order to provide adequate and safe water for all of our residents and for the future of our community,” Hoffman said via the news release.
“These improvements are not cheap and come with a price tag of approximately $3,797,429. This project was originally designed at a cost of $4.8 million. About a million dollars was cut from the project to make it more affordable. Parts of the project were dropped that we felt were not necessary right now and only areas that were considered the most important were included in the project,” explained Hoffman.
Hoffman added, “We were fortunate in being able to obtain financing through EPA for the total project which will be a grant of $1,898,715 and a 0 percent loan of $1,898,714 over a 30 year period which will result in a yearly debt payment of about $63,000. No one likes to increase charges for anything but the only way, at this time, to make necessary improvements is to borrow money. Of course if you borrow even at no interest cost, the funds still have to be repaid. Rather than raise water rates which would result in sewer rate increases also, we thought the best method of repayment would be to create a fund specifically for repayment of this loan and provide funds for loan repayment by a $5 surcharge on each resident’s water bill, which was enacted at the Jan. 25 council meeting.
“Increased charges are not popular but sometimes are necessary if we wish to maintain our services for our residents and future generations in our community,” concluded Hoffman.
Information provided by Middleport Mayor Fred Hoffman.