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Evansville City Council awards wastewater plan contract

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GINA R. HEINE
August 12, 2009
— The city council on Tuesday unanimously awarded a contract to begin the city's $7.2 million upgrades to its wastewater treatment facility.

The council awarded the contract to C.D. Smith Construction of Fond du Lac, the lowest bidder at $5.79 million. The contractor could break ground as early as next month.


News last week that the city received $4.08 million in federal stimulus money for the project helped remove any hesitations, council President Mason Braunschweig said after the meeting.


"In my view, Evansville getting the $4-plus million stimulus money pretty much sealed the deal," he said. "It was a need, it addresses all of our needs for the state mandates, and stimulus money sealed the deal, and the council seemed to be in line with that."


Without the stimulus money, the project would have about doubled sewer rates for the average useró50,000 to 60,000 gallons a year, city Administrator Dan Wietecha previously said. With the federal money, rates would increase about 50 percent, he said.


No rate increase has been approved, and the state Department of Natural Resources has to approve the increase.


The public works committee will continue discussion on rate structure increases at its Tuesday, Aug. 25, meeting. The committee already saw a proposal from city engineer Dave Sauer, but members asked for more information and options.


Committee members wanted a structure that would give people more incentive to conserve water, but also not hit people with minimal water usage with large flat rates, Braunschweig said.


The public works committee could make a recommendation at its meeting or discuss until September. The finance committee also will have input before the council would vote on the increase, possibly in September or October, Braunschweig said.


Rate increases would go into effect January 1.



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