The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved a $1.86 million bid for phase two of improvements to the town’s newly expanded wastewater treatment that will remove the plant’s discharge from Little Limestone Creek.
The project includes construction of a new effluent pump station to tie in to a six-mile outfall line under construction from the treatment plant just outside downtown Jonesborough six miles southwest to the Nolichucky River.
Phase one of the project was a $5.5 million expansion of the plant that includes two new 500,000-gallon treatment basins that will more than double the town’s wastewater treatment capacity and allow future growth at Washington County Industrial Park on U.S. Highway 11E in Telford.
Work on plant expansion began in May 2012 and is awaiting a final inspection scheduled for Thursday. The plant is expected to be fully operational in three to four weeks.
Phase two of the project includes the new pumping station and a piping system to tie into the new outfall line to the river. Work to secure property easements for the $1.5 million outfall line began in April and construction began this summer. About one mile of the new line has been completed and work is continuing.
The project is being funded through a combination of approximately $10.5 million in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development, the federal Economic Development Authority, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The low bid on phase two of the plant improvements was submitted by Smith Contractors of Lawrenceburg, Ky., and unanimously approved by the board Monday morning.
Prior to the vote, Town Administrator Bob Browning told the board Smith’s original $1.948 million bid was approximately $500,000 more than was anticipated but included $88,634 for new diffusers and scrapers in the plant’s older treatment basins that can be replaced for less expense when the new basins are functioning and the older basins are drained.
With the $88,634 deducted from the bid, the remaining cost overrun will be funded through the use of more than $322,000 in contingency funds included in the project budget and approximately $166,000 of $258,000 budgeted for replacement of an existing pump station at Persimmon Ridge.
Browning said the funding plan will leave $81,449 for replacement of the Persimmon Ridge pump station and a 20 percent funding cushion built into Rural Development’s loan agreement on the project that will allow any unfunded costs for that pump station to be financed at the same low rate.
The town has also contracted designs for a plan to pump wastewater flows to the treatment plant from Davy Crockett High School, which is currently served by a deteriorating treatment plant owned by the county.