Friday, March 2, 2007

Hailey awarded $105,000 DEQ grant

Money will fund wastewater planning

Express Staff Writer

A $105,000 grant awarded to the city of Hailey by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality will allow the city to update its long-range wastewater system masterplan.

The city has been applying for the DEQ grant since 2003, City Engineer Tom Hellen said Thursday.

Funds from the grant will help pay for work the city has contracted to a Boise-based engineering firm, Carollo Engineers, to complete. Regularly updating a city's wastewater masterplan is a common occurrence.

"It's a good thing for a city every five years or so to look at where they are," Hellen said.

As part of their work for the city, engineers at Carollo Engineers will evaluate sewer lines, manholes, overall system capacity, the city's wastewater plant, and future wastewater-related laws of which the city needs to be aware.

"We've got a whole scope of work," Hellen said.

The overarching purpose for the planning effort is to identify future capital improvement needs for which the city should prepare.

For now, the city's newer wastewater plant is only operating at half its potential capacity, Hellen said.

The plant was built between 1999 and 2000.

The city last updated its wastewater master plan in 1997.

"It's an ongoing process," Hellen said.

The DEQ grant will require the city to post $105,000 in matching funds.

Those dollars will come from Hailey's wastewater fund, which is funded by wastewater connection fees and normal monthly fees, Hellen said. No money will come from the city's general fund, he noted.

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