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Springfield, Rincon land state awards
Funds to be used to boost safety and supply of water
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RINCON — Good news about water gushed abundantly for Georgians on Feb. 22. 

Flanked by members of the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Committee, Gov. Brian Kemp announced more than $422 million in prelimary awards that will ensure communities in high-need areas have reliable and safe drinking water, and wastewater systems.

The City of Rincon is set to receive one of the largest awards — $7,374,685.36. The City of Springfield is slated to get 1.675 million.

The investments will help:

— improve drinking water treatment

— extend drinking water service to high-need areas

— improve wastewater treatment, resulting in cleaner rivers and lakes

— improve biosolids management, resulting in less waste in landfills

— improve sewer systems, resulting in fewer spills that can pose threats to public health and environmental quality

— secure Georgia’s water resources for future generations

“Because we remained focused on protecting lives and livelihoods throughout the pandemic, Georgia is now in a position to make strategic, transformational investments in our state’s water and sewer infrastructure,” Kemp said. “I want to thank the committee members for dedicating their time and expertise to help us make these awards, as well as the grants team at the Office of Planning and Budget. I am proud to know that we have worked hard to prioritize projects which address pressing public health and environment issues, support economic development and enhance our ability to be good stewards of our water resources for generations to come.”

The City of Rincon will use its funds to expand its wastewater treatment plant. The award is expected to cover about 75 percent of the cost.

Rincon’s wastewater treatment plant is currently operating at approximately 80 percent of its capacity.

During Monday night’s Rincon City Council meeting, Mayor Ken Lee thanked Marcus Sack for submitting the grant request. Sack is the engineer for the wastewater treatment plant expansion project.

“You don’t know how much we appreciate the work you are doing, particularly with (the grant),” Lee said. “Those kinds of opportunities don’t come around very often.”

Councilmembers Patrick Kirkland and Levi Scott echoed the mayor’s sentiments.

“It’s amazing,” Kirkland said. “A lot of people don’t know what that’s going to do for the city for years to come.”

Kirkland asked about a time line for the completion of the wastewater treatment expansion. Sack said he hopes it will be three years.

The City of Springfield will use its award to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility and fund a 2 1/2-mile extension of sewer lines to New Ebenezer Retreat Center.