The City of Knox is ready to apply for a federal grant and loan to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant.
Much of the infrastructure is more than 20 years old and no longer runs efficiently. At a minimum the city is looking at upgrades to the headworks to better deal with grit removal and screening. The necessary equipment carries an estimated cost of $500,000, according to a study done last year for the city. Improvements to the aeration side of the plant are also proposed.
Obtaining a combination grant and loan from the U.S.D.A. would also allow other problems at the plant to be addressed immediately. The clarifiers at the plant will need to be overhauled within the next few years. Right now they’re not connected to backup generators and cannot be operated if the power goes out. Additionally there’s not an alarm attached to them to alert to a problem after hours.
Knox Mayor Dennis Estok told the board of works Wednesday the city may also realize some cost savings by financing the project through the U.S.D.A.
“There’s a possibility that they could take our bond that we have out there on the wastewater treatment plant and incorporate it into that, which would be a huge savings,” he said.
Estok added the city needs $13,700 to continue with the U.S.D.A. funding process. The board of works approved that expenditure from the sewer improvement fund.