On a deadline of Sept. 4, the Toledo City Council unanimously voted to take the next step toward a new water treatment plant at its Aug. 27 meeting.
Dave Stoklasa and Kelli Scott from Snyder and Associates made a presentation and fielded questions from council members. Following the discussion, the city council approved Snyder and Associates to submit a preliminary report to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The motion passed with a 4-0 vote, as Council member Jeff Filloon was absent.
"We want to appearance that we are ready to go, so that we can get preferential treatment for getting that grant money," Scott said of pushing the Sept. 4 deadline. "We want to knock ourselves up above others who aren't ready. That's why we want to get it pushed through right now."
The Sept. 4 date was a deadline for several things. Those are placement on the Intended Use Plan (IUP), application for a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan and for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application.
Scott said they were wanting to make the deadline because they are applying for $600,000 from the CDBG to help with the project. It will be months before it is known if the City of Toledo will receive the funding. Those grant dollars would be used to help fund the project, which Stoklasa estimates at nearly $3 million. His last estimate was $2.5 million.
"We have a feeling that our estimate is a bit too high yet," Stoklasa said. "The feeling is that I don't see it dropping as far as $2.5 million. I would guess it would be something slightly below $3 million."
He did tell the city council that the current water treatment plant, which was built in 1965 and remodeled in 1983, could be fixed, but it's not a choice he would make.
"The plant can be rehabbed, but my concern is where is the actual value in doing that," Stoklasa asked? "I don't see the value in rehabing it. That's just my opinion."
The proposed project would replace the current facility, which was deemed "deteriorated" in a report to the council in December. The proposed new plant would be almost identical to the existing one, except it would add ammonia removal and equipment redundancy for radium removal.
"Part of the reason the old plant and new plant are about the same size is because there hasn't been much population growth in Toledo and we're not expecting that much," Scott said. "So we based it on a 1 percent growth in the future."
Council member Elmer "Skip" Wilson asked if the new facility would improve water pressure for city residents.
"This will not have anything to do with water pressure and the distribution system," Stoklasa said. "It will not."
Council member Brian Sokol asked Skoklasa about the lifespan of a new facility. He even jokingly asked if it would last 47 years like the current water treatment plant.
Stoklasa said he didn't have an exact number, but he hopes it will last nearly as long as the existing facility, which is going beyond its years.
"The deterioration started a number of years ago, but to me, it hasn't gotten particularly serious until the last few years," Stoklasa said. "So it had a good 35-year run before it had any significant problems."