By Wayne Allen
On Wednesday state and local officials attended a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the Minford Area Wastewater Treatment Project.
The origins of this project date back to 2012 when the county was awarded a $15 million dollar grant from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and a $15 million dollar low interest loan from the state of Ohio office of rural development.
“This is a major project for Scioto County and without the assistance of the USDA, this could not have happened,” Mike Crabtree Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners said. “This is going to be a big boost to this area along with the bypass currently under construction.”
Crabtree, along with Scioto County Commissioners Doug Coleman and Bryan Davis, gave thanks to many of the people and agencies in attendance for their assistance in moving the project towards completion.
“This has been a very unique and rewarding project, both professionally and for me personally. I specialize in unsewered communities and as you can imagine, a community that does not have a sanitary sewer has a lot of problems. Usually most of them are insurmountable at this point,” said Adam Voris of EMH&T consulting engineer on the project. “I look forward to coming back when this project has started and the bypass is constructed to see all of the positive changes that have come about in this region.”
Voris said the project can be doubled in capacity to nearly a million gallons a day. It consists of 40 miles of buried underground pipe, 800 manholes, serves 1,300 consumers and took seven years to complete.
For the waste water treatment plant 19 parcels of land were purchased and 620 easements were obtained from 820 land owners.
Voris acknowledged the amount of collaboration between county, state and federal offices that had to occur for the project to succeed.
“This has been quite the project will likely be the largest I will ever work on and it’s been personally and professionally rewarding, definitely a high point in my career,” Voris said.
Among those in attendance was U.S. Department of Agriculture Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan.
“This has been a long time coming and certainly the efforts of a wide array of both government and residents,” Logan said. “This is going to mean a lot for families in the region.”
Logan said part of the funding for the project came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). He said the USDA Rural Development was responsible for $3.2 billion in projects.
“It’s finally done after all these years and I think it’s the last ARRA project that we’ve completed and cut the ribbon on,” Logan said.
Logan said the project had to be completed by the end of September or the funding might have been in jeopardy. He said he was glad they were able to finish the project.
“It was not an easy project, 1,300 homes will benefit from this project and the environment will benefit from this project,” Logan said. “In Southern Ohio, clean water and sanitary sewer are the first building blocks for a higher living standard and a more robust economy,”
The completion of the Minford Sanitary Sewer Project will mark the second sewer project to be completed by the office this year. Earlier this year the Eden Park Sanitary Sewer Project was completed.
When it comes to other sewer projects in the near future Scioto County Sanitary Engineer Joe Delong said, “the USDA is gonna want to make sure we can make our monthly payments, so it may be a couple of years before they would want to participate (in funding a project). In the mean time we’ll see where we should go next.”
For more information about the office of Scioto County Sanitary Engineer and its functions visit, www.sciotocountysanitary.us
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT