The Gas, Water and Sewer committee held a brief meeting on Thursday morning to discuss a request from the city of Friendship to have the city of Dyersburg process their sewage waste. According to City Engineer Scott Ball, Friendship's wastewater treatment plant is in need of significant repairs and will need to be closed in the near future. The city may need a new treatment plant altogether and is seeking to enter into a contract with the city of Dyersburg so that their sewage waste is pumped to Dyersburg.
"This is a common practice throughout the state," Ball explained to the committee.
In order to close their plant, Friendship will have to reroute their sewage and tie it into Dyersburg's sewer system at East Court and Highway 412. Ball outlined the costs to Friendship in a copy of the engineering report sent to him by the Friendship city engineer. The estimated cost of the project is estimated at $1.7 million, of which Friendship currently has approximately $687,000 available. Friendship will be applying for a Community Block Development Grant in the coming weeks for an additional $500,000. If they are successful in receiving funding the remaining difference will come from state revolving funds. If they are not successful in obtaining grant funding, Friendship is prepared to borrow money for the project.
"If we can get the legal portion of it worked out, we can send this on for approval based on us being able to work out a rate to treat their sewage," said Ball. "They're going to have to follow our MPS permits and they are aware of that."
Ball says he has been working with MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service) on a contract and was sent a copy of a contract between the city of Bethel Springs and Sumner. In the contract Friendship would be treated like any other customer, albeit a substantial customer, and they would be responsible for all utilities. Alderman Kevin Chaney asked if there would be any costs to Dyersburg to enter into this agreement and if the city's wastewater treatment plant was able to handle such a volume.
"As long as their flow characteristics are what they are supposed to be, I won't even know they are in the system," said Superintendent of the Waste Water Treatment Plant Michael Goff. "Their volume is 50 to 60,000 gallons and we have a 10 million-gallon wastewater plant."
Ball interjected that Dyersburg's current flow is around 2 million gallons. Goff further explained that the installation of the infrastructure would be the responsibility of the city of Friendship.
"It would be zero cost to us other than a few hundred bucks for the meter," said Ball.
Chaney moved that the committee approve Dyersburg handling Friendship's sewage waste with a second by Alderman Robert Taylor Jr. The motion was unanimously approved. The committee's recommendation will have to be approved by the Dyersburg City Board at its next meeting on Monday, Oct. 1.