Wastewater is Serious Business

August 11, 2017

The City of Prattville is making a necessary and vital investment in the future of wastewater and sewer infrastructure. The groundbreaking today is for a $33,273,500 investment to the City of Prattville’s Wastewater Treatment Plants.

The City's first wastewater treatment plant, built in 1959, had the capacity of 750,000 gallons per day. According to the 1960 census, 6,616 people lived in the City of Prattville. Currently there are approximately 36,000 residents, and this upgrade to the wastewater treatment plants will increase the overall capacity to 9.7 million gallons per day. This volume increase is approximately thirteen times larger than the original plant’s capacity.

If you have been following the wastewater journey over the last few years, you probably read two of our previous articles, “Wastewater...Past, Present & Future” and “Pine Creek WW Treatment Plant Expansion...Where Are We?” to stay up to date on the progress within the Wastewater Division of Public Works. Since April 19th, a lot has materialized in the Pine Creek Wastewater expansion. On June 8, 2017, the City of Prattville received two bids from qualified contractors. The bid of $33,273,500 was awarded to Brasfield & Gorrie on July 6, 2017, and the pre-construction phase began almost immediately.

While funding is key in every project, it is especially important every step of the way in a project of this magnitude. The total debt service for this upgrade is estimated to be $1,600,000 per year over the next thirty years. The Municipal Financial Consultant for the city, Rice Advisory, LLC, has presented the best financing and rate options available. The project will utilize a twenty year State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and a thirty year municipal bond.

In 2012, Mayor Gillespie and the City Council established an enterprise fund account in the 2012-2013 budget for the Wastewater Division of Public Works. This enterprise fund has ensured accountability and fiscal responsibility which has led to long-term stability in the division. In 2016, after a detailed rate study, an updated rate schedule was implemented, which placed the enterprise fund in a secure state to financially support the project. This fund enabled the Wastewater Division to pay off all previous projects’ outstanding SRF loans earlier than the scheduled ending maturity date. The debt service for the wastewater expansion and improvements will be funded through this fund. The enterprise fund budget is based off actual revenues received from monthly sewer rates and impact fees. Therefore, the wastewater enterprise fund account will be investing solely into the division to pay the debt service for this project.

Wastewater is a critical resource that people utilize daily. It also plays a very important role in the environment, public health, and economic development. Current and past Prattville Administrations have been proactive in sewer infrastructure by paving the way for future growth and ensuring public health. The upcoming upgrade and expansion of our wastewater infrastructure will ensure that the City of Prattville is prepared to accommodate 30 years of projected growth and economic development opportunities.
This upgrade should be completed within 24 months from the Notice to Proceed date. We expect to receive this date around the middle of September 2017. We look forward to the completion of this project and our future Partners of Prattville.

As we move forward, we will continue to update our citizens on this project. Stay tuned and remember “Public Works...Always Working for You.

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