LIVERMORE FALLS — The cost for the first phase of an upgrade to the Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant is estimated at $12.2 million.

The estimated cost to upgrade the Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant stands at $12.2 million. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Estimates have continued to escalate since 2018 when a preliminary one was between $7.7 million and $10 million for the whole project.

In 2020, the estimate was nearly $9.5 million for phase one.

Livermore Falls and Jay Select Boards received an overview of the project Thursday night from engineer Jeff Preble of Wright-Pierce, a senior project manager. The environmental engineering firm in Topsham is handling the design work and other aspects of the project. The firm has looked at different processes for the plant to develop the design and planning for its future.

The plant was built in the 1970s and underwent a partial upgrade costing $5.8 million in 1998.  The plant capacity is 2 million gallons of wastewater a day.

In the spring of 2019, the proposed project was to be paid for by a $4.28 million loan and $1.47 million in grants and other relief. The interest rate would have been about 3.25% over 30 years.

Now, the estimated funding stands at $6.38 million for a loan and $5.81 million in grants and other relief, according to information presented by Preble. The interest rate has also dropped to an estimated 1.51% to 1.75%, depending on the length of the loan. There is a possibility of more funding to help offset the cost.

Livermore Falls residents will be asked at a special town meeting in the near future to raise another $1.5 million.

Livermore Falls owns the plant but the town and Jay will split the cost of the upgrade 50-50. The towns already share the cost of the operation and maintenance of the plant in a formula based on sewage treated at the plant. This year, Jay contributed 58.2% and Livermore Falls, 41.8%. All sewage from both towns is treated at the plant.

The 47% grant funding is more than most towns receive, Brandy Piers, a state senior environmental engineer with the Department of Environmental Protection, Clean Water State Revolving Fund, said.

“We recognize that Livermore Falls needs to do it,” she said, and they are trying to get the most grant funds as possible. There is also a possibility of stimulus funding from the government. Every town was asked to give the the needs in a survey. There were only 83 entries and Livermore Falls submitted one.

A yearly payment is estimated at $330,923, according to Preble.

There is also a possibility of refinancing after a couple of years to get a lower payment, Piers said.

One loan on the plant is scheduled to be paid off in October.

Funding sources include Clean Water Revolving Fund and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Following the finalization of a design plan, it is expected that bid documents would be finalized in March with request for bids to be advertised April 2. Opening bids on May 16 would be followed by a 60-day award period. Construction is proposed to start in June and be completed in August 2023.

 


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