The Osceola City Council has approved a schedule for taking bids on construction of the updated wastewater treatment facility. A recent pre-bid meeting brought in a handful of interest, but with design and budgeting finalized, the City is now able to open the call for bids to contractors interested in undertaking the project.
As far back as 2010, new EPA regulations as well as the continued growth of Osceola itself made the need for modernizing and updating the wastewater treatment unavoidable. According to the EPA, the acceptable limits of certain water constituents were lowered, making the current water treatment plant incapable of meet the new regulations. After many years of research, studies, plans and financial estimates, the project is ready to move forward by beginning the contractor selection process.
The projected timeline for the new wastewater treatment plant’s construction is scheduled roughly to take two years, then the re-purposing of the current facility is slated to take another two years. All of this will be done before before the project is finalized or costs are realized. At this time, total projected costs for the new plant is estimated to be just under $30 million dollars. A large portion of that cost – roughly 47% – is being covered through a partnership with Osceola’s major industrial contributors. The balance will be financed through the State Revolving Fund Loan via the Iowa Finance Authority. Utility payers will pay their proportionate share through minor updates, not expected to exceed the standard cost of living rate over the next several years.
While the updated treatment facility will meet EPA demands, increase treatment capabilities, as well as offer expansion to support future economic growth, several other benefits to the updates will be realized. Significantly, the city of Osceola was recently awarded a $2.4 million grant designated to fund projects which improve the quality of stormwater runoff. Their eligibility to even apply was granted through the planned wastewater treatment plant updates and the use of a State Revolving Fund Loan. Using this grant, green practices such as pervious pavers and intakes designed to separate debris from stormwater runoff will be incorporated in the downtown area, further improving water quality throughout the community.
In addition to better wastewater management, compliance and water runoff quality, the City of Osceola has recently taken on ownership of the local golf course wherein new wastewater treatment facility will allow for additional money-saving strategies.
“No pun intended, but we’re ‘teeing ourselves up’ to be able to take advantage of the new graywater system so we can irrigate the municipal golf course,” said Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator. “While it’s not part of the current plans for the treatment plant, we are expecting future strategies like this to save the city money and facilitate business and community growth.”
Once completed, the updated treatment plant will not only increase flow capacity of the wastewater that’s taken in, but will also see increased capacity in the treatment of the constituents found within that flow. Updates will ensure the city’s compliance with DNR and EPA regulations for several decades to come.
“We have big plans for future growth of the City,” said Wheeler. “These updates open us to increasing new businesses opportunities and more residents far into the future.”
If you are interested in submitting a bid for this project, please read specifications, deadlines, and all other pertinent information HERE.
For more information about the wastewater treatment plant project, contact Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator, via email, by calling 641-342-2377, or by visiting the administration offices at 115 N. Fillmore St., Osceola, IA 50213.