City leaders emphasized that the estimate is just that and that going out for bids should give the city a better understanding of what the project will cost.
The city is also in the process of exploring options for funding the upgrades, something discusssed Jan. 3 during a council workshop.
City Administrator Matt Shaffstall told council members that developer’s agreements for the Hunter’s Glen and Crown Park projects are expected to help address those costs. However, the city is still looking at a roughly $500,000 gap that could be funded different ways, he said.
Neverdousky said the city does need to consider possible sewer rate increases as the waste water system operated at a loss during the previous fiscal year, indicating the city is not taking in enough revenue to support what they are doing.
However, Scott confirmed that some money from the waste water system budget was used for legal fees regarding the ongoing lawsuit brought by engineering firm E.S. & C.M. against the city regarding unpaid fees on a prior project.
The city could also help offset the cost of the improvements with impact fees paid by developers, Neverdousky said.
However, the city must adopt a capital improvement plan and go through the legal process to put an impact fee in place first, something the city is currently working towards.
The wastewater upgrades are necessary to begin addressing current issues, to address future development, as well as to meeting state requirements regarding backup power at the sites, city leaders were told.
Lift stations at Kingsgate, Beaver’s Creek and Willow Park Village are all included in the upgrade project.
A couple of the issues expected to be addressed include insufficient pumps at the Beaver’s Creek lift station that are contributing to sewage backup during large rain events and spillage into a nearby creek, as well as a pump station at Willow Park Village that was installed and designed for the southern half of the development, according to Breisch. Breisch said he believes the pump station needs to be expanded to serve all of Willow Park Village, as well as the current neighborhood in the development phase - Hunter’s Glen.