McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has reported a finding of no significant impact pertaining to a state revolving fund loan request from the City of McCook for water and sewer service improvements. The $1,830,000 project is anticipated to improve water quality discharged by the waste water treatment plant into the Republican River, in addition to improving reliability of McCook's public water system.
The report, posted on the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality website, states that a McCook water and sewer rate increase will occur as a result of the project, however Utility Director Jesse Dutcher informed the Gazette that the increase referenced has already been put in place.
"The rate increase that was enacted in October of 2011 was in part to fund capital projects such as these. While rate increases are always looming on the horizon we are not planning any additional increase to pay specifically for the State Revolving Loan Funds," said Dutcher.
According to the report the waste water treatment plant fails to meet toxicity requirements during periods of high flow. The slow rinse cation waste water stream at the waste water treatment plant will be replaced by two new retention lagoons to alleviate this, which will require taking 10 acres of farmland out of production.
"The city and our engineering firm are currently working on the design and location of the lagoons. Lagoon construction should take place during the upcoming summer months with completion late this fall," said Dutcher.
The water system improvements include the replacement of 8,000 feet of a 16" water main at the water treatment plant and replacement and improvements to water mains at East H Street and East C Street.
A Jan. 3, 2012 public hearing was coordinated by the McCook City Council in accordance with NDEQ requirements. During that hearing no public opposition was expressed nor received by mail, according to the report.
"The upcoming water main work, which includes replacing several hundred feet of four inch main on H Street, will be done as part of the H Street resurfacing project scheduled for this summer. The 16 inch main that extends from the Water Treatment Plant to South Street may not see construction until the summer of 2013," said Dutcher.
The median household income of McCook is $36,767, which qualifies the city for a combined matching principal forgiveness of $494,300 for the project.
Total project amount: $1,830,000
Expected Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan: $358,500
Expected principal forgiveness: $250,000
Expected Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan: $977,200
Expected principal forgiveness: $244,300
The full report is available on the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality website at http:// www.deq. state.ne.us, by clicking on the "Public Notice" link on the right side of the page.