The regional sewer project in Greenup County is finally moving forward.
This week, the Greenup City Council gave final approval to joining the system, agreeing to send its sewage to Wurtland for treatment.
Construction of the sewer line, which will carry waste from Greenup to Wurtland and eventually the Lloyd community, could get under way in the spring.
“We’re making progress,” said Doug Collins, assistant to the Greenup County judge-executive. “We’ve got some stuff going now that we can finally look down the road and maybe see an end to.”
Bob Blankenship, vice president of HMB Professional Engineers Inc., said final engineering work needs to be completed on the line before it can be put to bid. He said original plans called for two lines, but the parties including Greenup have now agreed building a single, larger line is the best option.
“It’s been a general consensus to save money, we’re going to have one line,” he said. “I’m very excited.”
Blankenship said the project has been a long time coming. “I’m very pleased that everyone is coming together. I think it’s an exciting project that is going to be beneficial.”
The initial line connecting Greenup and Wurtland will be paid for using $1.87 million in Kentucky Infrastructure Authority funds secured years ago for the project.
The coming together of Wurtland, Greenup and the county to establish the Greenup Joint Sewer Agency, as well as the Greenup Wastewater District, is seen as an important step in expanding service throughout the area.
“The state is always pushing a regional sewer system. That’s what we’re talking about here,” said Blankenship, referring to state regulators, including the Division of Water, which inspects and issues operating permits to wastewater treatment plants. “From an engineering point of view, it is always good to have a regional sewer system, just from a cost effective point of view, but each community has to assess whether it is worth it or not.”
In this case the parties have all come to that conclusion, he said. The partnerships will also help pay for the project, he said. “You get more points when you apply for federal funding.”
Blankenship said his firm hopes to begin working on the next phase of the project — sewer lines to serve the Lloyd community — in early 2013.
He said the first step will be a preliminary layout and initial cost estimate for the lines. The search for funding for the Lloyd segment will also get under way next year.
Officials hope to pursue funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program. That application process opens in the spring. In addition, Blankenship said, the county has an additional $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to install sewer lines in Lloyd.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2653.