City breaks ground on new water treatment plant

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The city of Perryville held a groundbreaking for its wastewater treatment facility Monday morning. City administrator Brent Buerck and Perryville mayor Ken Baer gave a few brief remarks prior to the brief photo-op.
The new $30 million plant will be located adjacent to the city’s existing plant on Hidden Valley Lane south of the city limits, where the Perryville Police Department presently has a shooting range. Other than the shovels and soil, the only other indication of the future project are several pink flags attached to wooden posts.
“This is kind of water plant round two, we funded the water plant 21 years ago, citizens understood what we were trying to do and why it was necessary,” Buerck said.
Voters in the city limits adopted three separated propositions in August 2018 to issue bonds for the project.
“It’s antiquated technology and it’s just never going to be able to keep up with what’s going on and now we’ll be able to,” Buerck noted. “To be where we’re at today...is incredible.”
Getting the project started is a quite a moment for the city, according to Buerck.
“This is huge,” Buerck said. “It is years of planning coming to a head, all together today. It sets the city of Perryville up for continued growth, economic development, but also the ability to meet changing regulations for certainly the next several decades.”
A 30-day public comment period began Aug. 27.
Buerck is optimistic the loan closing will occur later this month.
That comment period, through the state of Missouri in Jefferson City, concludes in a couple weeks.
“These are regulatory requirements that the state faces whether they issue a new permit or funding for a new project,” Buerck said.
The city is receiving funding for the multi-million dollar project through Missouri’s state revolving loan fund
As for when the project will be completed, Buerck said it should be finished and ready for service in 2023.
“A lot of things can impact that, we’re hoping within two years we’ll be ready to go,” he said.
The city’s public works director Jeff Layton also spoke about the significance of the improved wastewater treatment plant.
“It’s huge,” Layton said. “With the current plant, we would’ve had trouble making limits. As things more stringent and the plant gets older, it’s harder to do that. This is huge for the city of Perryville and for the impact on our residents and also on the environment.”
When finished, the new facility will be able to treat waste the way the Department of Natural Resources recommends.
“This plant has been outdated for a while, it’s just a good thing,” Layton noted.
Layton described the planning and design process for this major infrastructure improvement.
“It’s been an experience,” Layton said. “It has been a fairly new process, there’s a lot of communication between us and our design build team and DNR. It’s been a learning experience for us and (we’ve) developed great relationships with them. The teams have been great. They’ve really helped us along the way.”
At its Sept. 7 meeting, the Perryville Board of Aldermen adopted three separate bond issuance ordinances totaling $26 million “for the purpose of extending and improving the city’s combined waterworks and sewerage system.”
The first one, for $12.37 million, was labeled as an “emergency” ordinance for “combined waterworks and sewerage system revenue” bonds. The second ordinance was for “general obligation” bonds in the amount of $5.135 million while the third ordinance for $8.495 million was geared toward “sales tax revenue” bonds.

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