Commission approves $40 million loan for wastewater facilityWith construction already underway, Dickinson took another huge step Monday toward the end result of a brand new wastewater treatment reclamation facility.
By: Bryan Horwath, The Dickinson Press
With construction already underway, Dickinson took another huge step Monday toward the end result of a brand new wastewater treatment reclamation facility.
Thought by close observers to be merely a formality, the North Dakota Industrial Commission unanimously approved a $40.5 million Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program loan to the city, a sum that will provide most of what will end up being a $48 million project, said Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel.
Several years in the making, the new plant — which will replace Dickinson’s outdated lagoon system of wastewater treatment — should be fully operational by fall 2014. The new facility will be located about two miles southeast of town, about a half-mile from the current lagoon site.
“The initial construction of this facility will allow the city to treat effluent to a population in the mid-30,000 range,” said Kessel. “The current lagoon-based system is exceeding design parameters.”
The SRF funds — administered by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Clean Water Act — will be paid back by the city over a period of 20 years at a fixed interest rate of 2.5 percent. The city is hoping to receive the remaining money for the project through state grants, said Kessel.
“The new mechanical plant has been designed to treat effluent to a higher standard, which allows the city to sell the treated product,” said Kessel. “Those revenues will be dedicated to pay down the facility construction costs, thereby lowering the cost for residents. The goal is to make the impact on residents as small as possible.”
Construction began on the facility in August and is ahead of schedule, partly due to the area’s mild autumn weather so far, said Karla Olson of Apex Engineering Group, the Fargo-based firm that drew the plans for the new complex. Along with being sold for industrial purposes, treated water will also be released into the Heart River and could also be used for irrigation purposes.
Fargo-based John T. Jones Construction is the main contractor working on the project with Muth Electric and Williams Plumbing and Heating out of Bozeman, Mont., assisting.
Originally, the city had planned to pour money into improvements to the existing lagoon system, but Dickinson’s energy boom-driven growing population dictated the city move to construct a new mechanical treatment plant, said Kessel. Conservative estimates have Dickinson growing to a population upwards of 30,000 within the next decade.