Smithville Awarded CDBG Grant for Sewer Plant Renovation

The City of Smithville has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $500,000 to help fund a renovation of the headworks and to replace the aeration system at the waste water treatment plant.
The Upper Cumberland Development District applied for the grant on behalf of the city to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
“We’ve met with the state’s ECD and the city has been officially approved for the CDBG grant for the wastewater plant,” said City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson during Monday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. “The last time we did an update on that was 1991 other than annual maintenance that we do. Two budgets ago we approved for J.R. Wauford Engineering, the city’s consulting engineer, to do site plans for the rehabilitation. That has already been done and the state has approved the plans although an environmental review process has not yet been completed. We’ll probably bid it out within the next two months. I expect it to be completed by year’s end. We won’t have to do any other renovations for probably another 20 to 30 years. It (waste water plant) is not as bad as the water plant was but it is getting some age on it and it needs to be updated,” he said
The total cost of the project is expected to be $2.88 million dollars. Although the grant will fund part of the costs, the bulk of the funding to pay for it will be appropriated from the city’s water and sewer fund surplus. But the renovation can be completed without any increase to water and sewer ratepayers according to Hendrixson.
Greg Davenport of the J.R. Wauford company addressed the mayor and aldermen on the proposed project in October, 2013. “The existing wastewater treatment plant was designed in 1991 and it went into operation in 1992. It has functioned very well. The operation of that plant is top notch. The operators have done a fantastic job of preserving your infrastructure. Even so there are things that wear out with time and equipment is one of those things. After about twenty years at a wastewater treatment facility, it just gets to a point where it’s time to renew it. There are really two components to the plant. The first component is the headworks which is the primary treatment. That’s the screening and grit removal. Obviously the most aggressive environment is at the front end of the wastewater treatment plant. The second component is the aeration and controls. The aeration system itself is not in a failing mode but there are more energy efficient systems out there nowadays that we feel like you ought to take a look at. This would be a more pro active project. What we’re proposing is a project that would renovate the headworks, which is the primary treatment device and then install a more efficient aeration system. My preliminary calculations on the aeration system show that it could save about $30,000 to $35,000 a year in electricity by switching over. The plant is twenty one years old. It’s time to take an assessment of it and see what needs to be done,” said Davenport.

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