A critical project to upgrade the City of Howell’s wastewater treatment plant that has been years in the making is be moving forward.

The Howell City Council recently approved a resolution that was developed and approved by the Capital Improvement & Rate Advisory Board, known as CIRAB. Howell DPS Director Erv Suida tells WHMI the board has been meeting for essentially nine years now discussing capital improvement projects needed at the wastewater treatment plant. He says the board came up with a potential scope and a cost sharing agreement – what they think is fair and what they think is a good project. The $14.2 (m) million would be shared between the City of Howell, Marion Township and the Pepsi Bottling Group, which has requested improvements and will participate financially. The resolution will be before all of the governing bodies, which Suida says basically reaffirms their agreement and participation so they can get the ball moving and do the needed improvements. The resolution is non-binding but basically lays out responsibilities and cost sharing for each of the different parties involved. The partnership is said to provide cost relief to the city and township on the improvements, enhance the treatment process and provide additional sources of revenue once completed.

Suida says the plant was expanded almost 20 years ago and hasn’t had any significant upgrades since then so this provides an opportunity to do some needed upgrades, improvements and repairs to the plant. The plan is to finance the project through a low interest State Revolving Fund or SRF loan, which has certain time frame specifications to meet. Suida says they are trying to meet the timeline for a 2020 start. He says they have about nine months of engineering and once they get to the point of design, then another 18 months of construction so that would take them well into 2023 if they were to start immediately. (JM)