Hellman recently informed Pomeroy Village Council the grant will go towards funding the first phase of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved Combined Sewer Overflow’s (CSO’s) Long Term Control Plan. Phase one will fund work at the two sewer lift stations, install 2,500 feet of gravity sewer, pay for two emergency generators and complete upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment plant.
Hellman said the village also has a loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority for $599,990 for the project. This along with the grant will bring phase one to a total cost of just over $1 million.
Pomeroy is required to follow a federally-mandated upgrade of its sewer system — specifically its CSO’s which it has a total of 20 years to complete with 16 years left on the timer. The entire upgrade is estimated to cost $5 million. CSO’s are typically found in older cities and are systems designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater all in the same pipe. During periods of heavy rainfall or melting snow the volume of wastewater going into the pipes can exceed the capacity and excess wastewater empties directly into nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies.
Pomeroy is also attempting to correct Ohio EPA violations at its lift stations which aren’t equipped with backup generators. Without the generators, when the power goes out, untreated sewage gets dumped into the Ohio River.
Also discussed at the most recent meeting of Pomeroy Village Council was the request for certification on a two mill fire protection levy renewal and a one mill street light replacement levy.
The street light replacement levy failed to pass in November though the village is still collecting on the previous levy through 2011. This means the village has an opportunity to place the replacement levy on the ballot in the March primary and November general election for passage. If this levy fails to pass this year, the lights, all street lights will likely go out in Pomeroy, according to Mayor John Musser — not just the lights along the walking path.
As for the village’s two mill fire protection renewal levy, it will need placed on the ballot in either the March primary or November general election as well because collection runs out at the end of this year. Council hasn’t voted to place either levy on any ballot at this point though it is anticipated to do so.