breaking news

Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

City moves ahead with $17 million plant

Urbana council appoints new member.


City council members voted unanimously to move ahead with a new $17. 6 million wastewater treatment plant, a project that will be paid for in part with an increase in sewer rates for residents over the next few years.

The project, described as one of the largest in the city’s history, is necessary because the current facility on Muzzy Road is aging and nearing its capacity. Once built, the new facility will be able to treat about 3.5 million gallons of wastewater a day. It will be built near the current facility, which will remain in place and treat about 1 million gallons per day, for a total of 4.5 million gallons.

The cost of the project will be paid, in part, with an increase in sewer rates. Average monthly bills could rise by about $6 a year for the next three years. Council members approved a ordinance to raise the sewer rates Tuesday.

While council members said they didn’t want to raise the rates, they said the project is necessary if the city wants to grow or attract new business in the future.

“I’m not a fan of it, but we have to do it,” said Doug Hoffman, an at-large council member.

The city is also seeking a loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance to help pay for the project.

Initially, the project was expected to cost close to $20 million, but that initial bid was well above the city’s initial estimates. The city sought a second round of bids, eventually accepting a proposal for $17.6 million from the Dugan & Meyers Construction Co.

The city was able to save more than $2 million in the second bid in part because it sought equipment from more manufacturers during the rebidding process, said Chad Hall, superintendent for the wastewater treatment plant.

He said seeking more manufacturers for equipment helped make the process more competitive and cut the price.

“The manufacturers got a little sharper pencils,” Hall said.

Council members also voted to approve Amy White as a new council member for an open at-large seat. White, a financial aid analyst at Urbana University, will replace Larry Lokai, who retired earlier this year. White is expected to attend the next city council meeting.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky
Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

Another meteor may have lit up the sky late Wednesday night. Several reports have come into our newsroom of a bright flash that shot across the sky just before midnight. People from Englewood, Marysville and Randolph County, Ind. have said they saw the bright flash, with some saying it was bright blue or blue/green. The American Meteor Society received...
Georgia sheriff: I don't care if you're from Wisconsin or need beer, stay home
Georgia sheriff: I don't care if you're from Wisconsin or need beer, stay home

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was back at it again with the jokes (and insults) as Georgia woke up to a messy wintry mix Wednesday, prompting schools, businesses and nearly three-fourths of the state’s roadways to close. State government offices are remaining closed for non-essential personnel Thursday across the 83 counties...
COMMENTARY: Want to see grit in action? Meet our immigrants

He’s one of the finest surgeons in Dayton (I won’t embarrass him by using his name) and patients are referred to him from all over our region. And he came to the Miami Valley as a refugee from a war-torn nation in West Africa. You know, one of those places Donald Trump insulted with a term this newspaper won’t print. Trump’s...
Wells Fargo customers find accounts drained by mistaken double charges
Wells Fargo customers find accounts drained by mistaken double charges

Some Wells Fargo customers found their bank accounts drained to zero Wednesday when some sort of glitch caused their online bill payments to be processed twice. Numerous customers -- so many that Wells Fargo’s customer service phone lines were jammed Wednesday night -- were discovering that recent payments they had made using the bank’s...
Suspect sought after stealing SUV, abandoning children on freezing roads
Suspect sought after stealing SUV, abandoning children on freezing roads

Authorities in Clayton County, Georgia, are searching for the person they say stole an SUV with two children inside from a gas station Wednesday before abandoning them in below-freezing temperatures on major roadways. One-month-old Ava Wilmer and 4-year-old Arya Davenport were found miles apart after mother Precious Wilmer’s 2009 Chevy Equinox...
More Stories