OXFORD — The town is expecting major economic development and work on sewage lines and a wastewater treatment facility will begin on the southern end of Route 26 to accommodate it.

Construction of a new, chemical-free wastewater treatment plant near Welchville village is still awaiting approval by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Town Manager Michael Chammings said Thursday. He said because it’s the first municipal treatment plant of its kind in Maine, it might take the DEP extra time to approve it.

The plant will treat sewage with filters and ultraviolet light, Chammings said Wednesday, and will release clean water that he said is supposed to be safe to drink.

“I’d pass on it,” Chammings said.

Once the DEP approves the plant, the town will put the project out to bid, planning that the sewage line along Route 26 from Welchville south to the Mechanic Falls line would be built first. After an executive session on economic development, the board voted unanimously to have the southern end built first.

Chammings said the potential economic development is not the chain restaurant that has been discussed previously. That would be built close to Norway, he said. He said the company would announce its plans in three or four weeks.

Last December, Oxford voters approved spending up to $20 million on the treatment plant and sewage system. In April, the board approved borrowing $13.7 million to pay for the first phase. The town plans for a tax increment financing district on the Route 26 corridor to pay for the project.

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