Oak Grove approved a bid for connecting one neighborhood to St. Francis’ sewer system.
Douglas-Kerr Underground came in with the lowest of seven bids, $118,304.12, to connect The Ponds to St. Francis’ water treatment facility.
The cost was higher than most of the council expected due to some changes in design, such as making it a gravity fed system instead of pressure fed, and the competitive bidding market.
A force system would have required more extensive work on the system pumps and could have led to further complications later on.
After months of deliberating Oak Grove decided to connect the neighborhood’s wastewater to St. Francis after an unusual water treatment system needed repairs.
The existing wastewater facility was a vertical-flow wetland, or constructed wetland, facility that was built in 2003 by the original developer and upgraded in 2006. The development was acquired by Oak Grove in 2010.
While a few options were discussed during meetings in early 2018, the decision ultimately came down to whether to connect to St. Francis or build a new package plant.
A public debate was sparked after some Ponds residents started attending council meetings asking to be connected to the St. Francis system.
Some council members argued against the connection, saying they were worried about St. Francis being able to set the water prices for The Ponds residents.
The residents who organized for the connection argued against a packaging plant to treat the wastewater largely due to the associated maintenance costs.
Because the neighborhood operates under an enterprise fund, only money collected from the 222 households in The Ponds would go to maintaining facilities.
Construction for the connection is slated to start in September and is expected to finish in October.