Molalla City Council members pass Wastewater Treatment Plan
With the wastewater plant front and center, expectations of a long, drawn out meeting were dashed on Dec. 12 when the Molalla City Council met for the last time in 2018.
There was only one public comment and that from a community planning organizer (CPO) that questioned how and whether CPOs are sent information from the city.
In the end, the council passed its wastewater treatment plan, setting the stage for an interesting spring and summer.
The public hearing on the wastewater plan started with a presentation from The Dyer Partnership, the consultant the city hired to help develop the current Master Plan. The plan that Dyer presented was derived after 18 months of work and has received approval from DEQ; with the final step to determine a permit modification out of the four options presented.
The presentation stressed that the city doesn't discharge effluent from Nov. 1 to April 30.
The 25-year plan meets the state's projected population for Molalla, moving from 9,939 in 2017 to expectation of 16,118 people living there at the end of 2043. Noting the current plant is undersized for current needs, the plan projects the four options as:
--No permit modifications with May discharges allowed, project cost $457,700;
--Mass load increase approved with no May discharge allowed, project cost of $2,764,300;
--Mass load increase approved with no discharge in May, project cost 6,385,500; and
--Mass load increase approved with May discharge, with a project cost of $1,659,500.
There's still a long list of improvements and expansion cost estimates that add to the costs for such things as influent screen and grit removal to site structures, improvements and engineering and construction costs.
Over the past year Molalla Public Works has taken measures to improve the process so it will be easier and somewhat less expensive to take on the project, noted both Fisher and Dyer.
For example, reducing the amount of biosolids that were clogging the process will lead to a faster construction process. The city is responsible for the information, but has followed the rules for an open public process, explained Fisher.
Council members then voted unanimously to approve the Wastewater Facility Use and Collection Plan, read it a second time and adopted it.
Council members also passed resolution 2018-26 adopting the operations plan and fee schedule.