Eastland preps for new waste water treatment plant

The waste water treatment center is one very vital piece of infrastructure for any town, but in Eastland it's aging, and according to Eastland City Manager Ron Duncan, it's beginning to fail.

"With no redundancies, it's led us to permit violations," Ron stated.

More than once a piece of equipment has given out causing a scramble to fix the outdated technology before the plant ran out of storage space.

"Basically after 4 days, if we don't get this thing operating, we run into trouble," Ron went on.

But not to worry, the Texas Water Development Board has provided grant money totaling over $7,500,000 to the city of Eastland to improve on their waste water treatment plant.

"Any money that's left over after the new plant is constructed we want to put back into paying off debt service," Ron continued.

Because, of course, the grant will have to be paid back. According to the city manager, Eastland has opted to pay it back over a course of 20 years.

"We actually got loan forgiveness for over $800,000 of it."

But even with this, there will still be millions to pay back.

"We don't have any choice but to upgrade our plant, but at the same time, in order to meet our debt obligation, we're going to have to raise sewer rates."

According to Eastland city staff, the current sewer bill is just over $24 a month. The addition to the rate will almost double it.

It will add, "A little over $22 each month. That's a really tough pill for our residents to swallow."

Now the good news, according to Mr. Duncan, is that the town has traditionally had low sewer rates," The bad news is this year we're going to have to increase them due to our operating costs," he finished.

Of course the plant is a necessity. The current plan is to build the new plant on the footprint of the old one over the next 2 years and when it's done,

"We will simply turn a valve, which will turn off water to the plant, send it to the new plant, and we will abandon these [old] structures," he finished. 


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