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Sweet Home welcomes $9 million for wastewater project

Sweet Home welcomes $9 million for wastewater project

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SWEET HOME — Some $9 million in grants will reduce repayment costs for the city’s proposed $28.2 million wastewater treatment plant, City Council members were told Tuesday evening.

The original projected cost of the project was more than $40 million, but has been whittled down by nearly $12 million due to renovation of some portions of the plant compared to a complete rebuild. The grants, coupled with $7 million from user rates, will reduce the total repayment cost to $12.2 million.

In turn, ratepayers will save about $25 per month over the original projections.

The Sweet Home wastewater treatment plant was originally built in the 1940s. It has been upgraded several times over the years, but needs to be renovated to meet modern needs for a community of more than 9,000 as well as state DEQ specifications.

A $2 million grant comes from the Oregon Business Development Department, and $9 million and $7 million will come from the passage of HB 5030, approved by the Oregon Legislature. Sen. Fred Girod and Rep. Sherrie Sprenger were advocates for the community on this issue, City Manager Ray Towry said.

In other business, the councilors:

— Agreed to put cost-of-living adjustments for non-union represented employees on hold until bargaining agreements are reached with union-represented employees.

— Selected Murraysmith of Portland as the city’s new engineering firm of record. The city interviewed five companies, including Civil West Engineering of Albany, Keller Associates of Salem, Westech Engineering of Salem and the Dyer Partnership Engineers & Planners.

— Approved a public address permit for the Downtown Lounge to operate during the Oregon Jamboree weekend, Aug. 1-4. The lounge will be allowed to play music until midnight on Aug. 1 and 4 (Thursday and Sunday nights) and until 1:30 a.m. Aug. 2 and 3 (Friday and Saturday nights).

— Waived a $100 fee for the use of Weddle Covered Bridge in Sankey Park for Sunshine Industries on Aug. 28. A $100 refundable deposit will remain in place. Sunshine Industries is a work center for adults with disabilities.

Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.


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