MOUNT CARMEL — The Mount Carmel City Council began the process of financing $1,332,742 from the State of Illinois to help fund repairs needed to at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Those repairs are required by the Environmental Protections Agency after the city was found to be non-compliant with the IEPA.

Lamac Engineering completed a study on the work needed and noted that the current plant design is inefficient with oxygen transfer and mixing which makes ammonia removal ineffective at the plant. There are no modifications that could be made that would allow the city to achieve compliance with the proper ammonia levels stated in their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

Plans for the repairs includes replacing the existing mechanical aeration equipment in the extended aeration basins and aerobic digester with new fine bubble aeration equipment and a new back up generator. The costs related to this portion of the repairs is estimated to be $880,742.

Also, the current outfall pipe has experienced significant root intrusion and structural fracturing causing sever infiltration and line failure. The city will relocate the effluent line by installing 3,650 feet of 36 inch high-density polyethylene sewer line, eight sanitary sewer manholes and a new river outfall structure. The relocation will move the discharge farther downstream from the city's drinking water supply wells. The total cost of the work associated with this repair is $452,000.

The estimated start for the work on the repairs will be January 2018 with completion planned for February 2019.

The city is applying to finance the projects with a loan from the Water Pollution Control Loan Program and would qualify for a discounted interest rate and 30 percent principle forgiveness if awarded the funds through WPCLP. The amount that would be repaid would be $932,919 and the interest rate would be reduced from 1.76 percent to 1.12 percent. The annual repayment on a term of 20 years would be $52,325.

Funds through WPCLP are awarded from an annual capitalization grant from the USEPA and awarded annually on a first come, first serve basis. If the city would not be awarded the funds the repayment would be for the full $1,332,742 for a 20 year term would be $74,750 annually.

The loan would be repaid with revenues from the water system and no additional rate increases would be needed.

The city must open a ten day period for residents who would like to file a written statement in regards to the project. If none are received, city officials will move forward with the loan application process.

City officials also held a public hearing on Monday for the renewal of a 5 year $150,000 bond. The funds will be used for public safety equipment and capitol expenditures. The fire department will receive $100,000 and the police department will receive $50,000. Last time the bond was renewed the street department received $100,000 and the police department received $50,000. The bond is paid off and renewed every five years.

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