Bid packages to construct an addition to the Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant are expected to be issued to selected contractors on Jan. 8, 2021. The project would be paid for by a joint reserve account funded by Jay and Livermore Falls and a portion of septage hauler fees. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

JAY/LIVERMORE FALLS — Plans for a proposed three-sided addition to the Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant are nearly complete. The project is proposed to go out to bid on Jan. 8, 2021, with a contract to be awarded Feb. 10, if the Select Board from each town approves moving the forward on the project.

The control building addition would include a conference room and an office. The additional space would include room for inspectors, files, confidential records, and plans to be kept during a proposed $9.5 million upgrade of the plant. If a trailer was to be leased for the same reason, it is estimated it could cost up to $40,000 over two years,  Jay Sewer Superintendent Mark Holt told Jay selectpersons on Nov. 23.

Jay and Livermore Falls officials voted earlier this year to seek bids for the addition. The cost would be paid for through the treatment plant’s joint reserve account that Jay and Livermore Falls contribute to monthly based on sewage flow. Of the $1,000 that goes in monthly, Jay contributes 58.2% and Livermore Falls, 41.8%, which is the  sewage flow rate approved for this year. A portion of septage hauler fees also go into the joint account.

Holt updated the Jay board on a joint sewer committee that has been working together for several months to look at developing an arrangement on how to run sewer operations. Livermore Falls Selectman Heather Bronish gave the Livermore Falls board an update on Nov. 17. Holt and Bronish are on the committee along with two Jay selectpersons, another Livermore Falls selectman, the two town managers and Livermore Falls Superintendent Greg Given.

The committee is looking for efficiencies in combining sewer services, Holt said.

There would be one shared superintendent at the Livermore Falls plant.

Jay eliminated the use of its North Jay treatment plant this past summer and sends all its sewage to the Livermore Falls plant for treatment.

The superintendent/operator of the Livermore Falls plant would need to have a biological grade four operator’s license, which is an increase from the grade three that is in place. There is a possibility that the superintendent/operator in charge may need to have a grade five license if the treatment plant needs to provide phosphorous removal to comply with its it renewed permit, according to an email from James R. Crowley, compliance supervisor, state pretreatment coordinator for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Crowley sent the email to Livermore Falls interim Town Manager Amanda Allen and Sewer Department Superintendent Greg Given in October.

The plant is expected to be upgraded to a grade four rated plant when its new permit is issued in September 2021.

Crowley said last week that he has scheduled a visit to the plant for an inspector and himself.

Currently, Given who operates the Livermore Falls plant, has a biological grade three operator license but there is time to study and get a grade four license, Crowley said.

Bronish told selectmen last month that Given said at a committee meeting he would not be seeking a grade four license. Holt has held a biological grade five operator license since 1992.

If voters in both towns approve an agreement, once it is finalized, to have one superintendent to oversee the plant both towns would share equitably in the cost of superintendent services, Bronish told Livermore Falls selectmen. The superintendent would also oversee sewer operations in both towns.

The agreement is still under review.

Jay is looking at an April vote to align with its town meeting and Regional School Unit 73 budget vote. Livermore Falls voters also vote on the school budget at that time.

If the addition is approved by Select Boards, it would be done before the treatment plant upgrade is started.

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