Stimulus will aid sewer system
August 24, 2010
Federal stimulus money will help increase sewer efficiency in at least one Warren County community, driving down costs for consumers.
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-3) met with Brokenstraw Valley Area Authority representatives to discuss the project. It relies on $500,000 provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
BVAA Chair Bill Hendrickson said work would allow the sewer system to use energy at a lower rate. Currently, he said pumps and blowers used to move air through the system operate at an invariable rate.
“I’ve seen a lot of grants in the things I’ve been involved with,” Hendrickson said. “This is one of the best things for people.”
As a conservative estimate, Hendrickson said upgrades would lead to a 20 percent reduction in energy costs.
Lake Engineering Project Engineer Arthur Kuholski said workers should finish the project by the end of the year. Next month, he said the first components will arrive.
“With electric rate caps coming off, electric costs will be up overall,” Kuholski said. “They will not rise as much as they would have without this project.”
While traveling through her district, Dahlkemper said some of the best projects she has found deal with sewers. She said she wanted to track the money and make sure it goes to the right things.
The authority serves 1,440 equivalent dwelling units, Hendrickson said. Each EDU equates to the consumption of one household, he said, with some businesses counting for more than one.
Without the grant, Hendrickson said the authority would not have enough cash flow to afford the upgrades. In addition to the federal funding, he said authority officials will borrow $200,000 to fund the project.