The Springfield City Council allocated $25,000 for engineering fees expected for a planned land application system for wastewater treatment.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dennis Webb said the city has been looking into the land application system for wastewater, and the project is now to the stage when advertising for an engineering firm is needed.
“What we are looking for is a commitment from all the entities that want to be involved including the city of Springfield,” he said.
He said the allocation of the money will show a good faith interest in the project. The engineering costs are expected to be approximately $100,000.
The city would like to have all of the governmental entities in the county participate in the project.
“We still don’t have one inkling of what this thing’s going to cost us,” Councilman Charles Hinely said.
Webb said the city has preliminary cost estimates and needs to get a commitment from whoever wants to be a part of the project.
“If they want to play ball, it’s time to play ball,” he said.
Hinely said the council has put $6,000 toward the project. He asked what would happen if the city put $25,000 more toward it and couldn’t afford the project.
“We would have made a $31,000 mistake,” Webb said. “This is the only avenue that’s been open up to us. We’ve had EPD officials out there twice, and it’s all looking good. We’ve got to be willing to commit something. It’s not going to happen without us. We got to drive this thing.”
Councilman Kenny Usher said if there are no other participants in the project the council would have to reevaluate the project.
“If we’ve got to do it on our own, then we’ve got to see if we can swing it on our own,” Webb said.
Aside from the cost of the land application system, the treatment plant will need to be expanded, Webb said. He said the total project would cost severalmillion dollars, and will take “a lot of impact fees to pay for (it).”
In order for the state Environmental Protection Division to consider the land application system, the land necessary needs to be secured for 20 years, according to Webb. The owner of the land the city is eyeing is willing to sell, Public Works Director Lowell Morgan said.
But he cautioned against buying it. Morgan said if the city buys the land, it would increase the cost of the project, take the land off the digest and the city would have to maintain it.
“I don’t think in 10 years you’re going to have a land application system just to get rid of water,” he said.