By BRADEN LAMMERS
A public hearing to discuss the Combined Sewer Overflow sewer project in Jeffersonville was held recently with no members of the public present.
The combined sewer overflow project is an estimated $34 million plan to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency agreed order issued in 2009.
Engineer Josh Hillman, with Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz, Inc. said the city is submitting a preliminary engineering report to the State Revolving Loan fund, which requires a public hearing take place.
The CSO interceptor project is expected to bring the city into compliance with the agreed order signed with the EPA in 2009 to eliminate sewer overflows. Those overflows occurred when heavy rainfall washed untreated sewage into area waterways, violating the Clean Water Act.
The plan to install only an interceptor pipe became the focus of the Mayor Mike Moore’s administration, which replaced a plan from former Mayor Tom Galligan to install a $65 million canal through downtown. The canal plan was designed to solve the overflow problem and ease flooding, and the interceptor pipe had always been a part of the project.
The estimated cost to install the interceptor pipe was $30.8 million and was based on feet of pipe, along with a contingency amount, Hillman said.
With a more detailed version of the plan including the cost for structures, asphalt and pipe, a revised estimated total equaled $34.4 million.
Hillman said the project calls for the installation of a new interceptor sewer parallel to the Ohio River that will connect the existing overflows to a new, oversized interceptor. In addition, an interceptor will be placed in the north-south corridor that carries wastewater to the 10th Street pumping station.
He said there are four options that will be considered in the draft documents. The alternatives being considered are to run the sewer lines along Market and Mulberry streets; Chestnut and Mulberry streets or Chestnut and Watt streets.
“The final alignment for the combined sewer overflow interceptor will not be determined until we get into final design,” Hillman said.
Plans presented at the public hearing will be available for review at the Jeffersonville Public Library, the city clerk’s office and at the wastewater superintendents office through Friday, Nov. 30.
The SRF loan is a 20-year loan and will be paid back through increased rates to city sewer bills that were approved by the city council in 2009.
The sewer rate increases approved by the Jeffersonville City Council in 2009 will continue to be phased in. The latest phase of the increase took the average bill to around $55 starting in 2012. Additional increases planned in 2013, 2014 and 2015 will take the average bill to about $73.