Article 2 of the Town Meeting Warning states: Shall the legal voters of the Town of Cavendish approve the issuance of a municipal bond in the amount not to exceed $790,000 for the purpose of complete replacement of the Town Wastewater Treatment Plant Aeration System. This will be voted on by Australian ballot on March 7 (Tuesday) and there will be an informational meeting regarding it on Feb. 28,
The short overview is that the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s (WWTP) aeration system (how the wastewater is cleaned so it can be returned to the Black River with out contamination) needs to overhauled. Not only is it long over due for replacement, but the state has found it in violation for the last 10 years. In fact, in their most recent report they asked the town for a replacement plan/schedule by Oct. 2016.
A combination of a USDA grant and a Clean Water SRF Loan could significantly lower the actual cost from the $790,000 noted in the warning.
While those on town sewer will be responsible for paying off the loan, because of town “indebtedness” of a municipal bond, a town vote is required. For those who on town sewage, your bill may not see much of a change as the current bond for previous repairs to the WWTP is just about to expire.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR REPLACEMENT:
• Current wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) was constructed in 1975 and upgraded in 1990. It consists of three aerated facultative lagoons, which provides a biological treatment process.
• For the last three inspections of the WWTP, the Waste Water Division of the VT Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has found inadequate aeration within the lagoons due to the aging equipment and recommending that the Town undertake an aeration system replacement project. The last report, indicated that the Town needed to supply the ANR with a schedule for the refurbishment of the aeration system by the end of October 2016.
• While the WWTP is still producing permit-compliant effluent (discharge), the existing aeration system is not functioning efficiently. Failure of this system can result in contamination of the Black River. Since ANR has noted failures in the system for the last 10 years, if contaminated discharge was to occur, it’s likely ANR will fine the town.
• To address the ANR requirement, the Town has hired Weston & Sampson Engineers to work with ANR in establishing a schedule for replacement as well as securing Clean Water SRF Loan funding for the Town.
• Weston & Sampson Engineers are recommending that that town undertake construction this year, applying for a Clean Water SRF Loan through VT ANR for a cost not to exceed $790,000. The following projects would be included
- Removal and disposal of lagoon sludge (last done in 2004-13 years ago)
- Demolition of the existing Laissere lead-keeled aeration system
- Installation of a new fine bubble membrane-type
- Replacement of three 25 HP blowers with three smaller blowers and variable frequency drives (variable speed)
- Installation of in-lagoon low-energy mechanical mixers
- Installation of D.O. pacing system for aeration system (blower speed) control
• The Clean Water SRF Loan will have a 20-year term and a low interest rate of 2%.
• Because the median household income for the residents of Cavendish is lower then the State median, Cavendish is eligible for “principal forgiveness” via a USDA grant. This would offset the cost for up to 50% of the cost of planning and final design, and for 50% of the construction cost, up to a maximum amount of $500,000.
WHO PAYS : Only those who use town’s waste water system. However, because the loan payment for previous WWTP upgrades is about to expire, the changes to bills shouldn’t be that much.
For more information: Town Of Cavendish Aeration System Replacement Informational Letter.