Marietta talks about new water treatment plans | News, Sports, Jobs


Marietta City Council member Bret Allphin wants to talk to Marietta about plans for a new water treatment plant: the need, the solution, the cost, the effect on people’s water rates.

He invites the inhabitants of Marietta to take a chair and ask him. He will be in Room 10 of the Armory from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday in November to explain the project, the proposed funding and what it means for water rates going forward.

Allphin is the chairman of the council’s water, sewer and sanitation committee. He took over a proposed water treatment plan that already existed when he was elected to the council, and he is very happy to see where the committee is now.

A water pricing study has now been completed by an expert in the field, RCAP, an offshoot of the Great Lakes Rural Community Action Program. The group has done extensive work in Ohio, particularly with small populations in more rural areas.

Board members and members of the public who attended Thursday’s board meeting saw a brief live presentation of the company via Zoom. Allphin, who himself has years of experience with the Buckeye Hills Regional Development Council and the National Association of Development Organizations, is confident the town has made “great due diligence” by collecting a large amount of local data and working with the company to get the best possible answers for what’s to come.

“When the administration is faced with setting water rates that reflect this work, we gave them the best possible information they could work with,” Allphin said. “I’m very happy with where we are.”

At Thursday’s council meeting, the city also began the process of applying for a water supply revolving loan account with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to plan, design, build and upgrade the city’s water treatment facilities.

Resolution 52 received the first of three readings at the meeting, authorizing the mayor and/or director of security and public services to begin the process. Applications for the WSRLA program must be submitted by December 2.

The proposed project by the City of Marietta would qualify for low-interest or below-market loan funds. Or, if the city is even luckier, there could be a zero percent loan and/or some loan forgiveness, Allphin said.

The early December loan application deadline would be followed by an announcement of offers in December. The pre-bid meeting would take place in early January and the opening of bids would be January 19, 2023. The expected loan award date would be March 23 and the contract would be awarded March 31. Construction would take two years.

The city’s water, sewer, and sanitation committee reported extensively to council on the condition of the city’s two aging water treatment plants. One was built in 1934, the other in 1975. Both are about to be repaired so that the current treatment process can adequately deal with newly recognized contaminants. A single new plant that uses reverse osmosis procedures for water purification will replace the two. It is planned to demolish the two existing factories eventually. One will be equipped to remain in service long enough to meet the city’s water needs during the construction of a new plant. The project has an estimated price tag of $30 million.

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