WILMINGTON -- A preliminary engineering study for the Wilmington Wastewater Facility is expected to let the town know what to do to improve current operations.
"We will come back to the (Select)board to see what the needs are and what we’re looking at for ultimate cost," said Wayne Elliott, vice president of Aldrich and Elliott Water Resource Engineers. "It will be the board’s decision on how to proceed."
On April 2, the Selectboard signed an agreement that would be sent out as part of an application to the state seeking assistance through an Agency of Natural Resources revolving loan fund. Wilmington was put on a list to potentially receive funding after a survey had declared the town eligible for it.
Elliott brought the board an application that was prepared to be sent to the state.
Town Manager Scott Murphy noted that the facility had aging equipment. Wilmington Wastewater Chief Operator John Lazelle believed the study was a good step.
"It will probably be required in the next permit approval," he said. "We kind of went ahead and did this on our own because we knew we’d have to. We have to move forward. We’re seeing problems."
The contract was to hire Elliott’s engineering firm for $13,900, which will be covered using state funds. He said the study will look at the life of the facility.
It will include the total cost of any construction or projects outlined in it as well as any potential costs to the sewer rates as a result of upgrades. Engineers will also focus on looking at whether any new equipment may be necessary.
Murphy told the Reformer there was money set aside in the town’s capital fund that could be utilized for this project, but working with the state would be best.
"They require certain standards to be met that will be helpful when we move into implementation aspects of the project," he said. "And at some point, we’re going to be looking for big bucks."
In March 2013, a 20-year evaluation was completed by the same engineering firm. According to Murphy, it was "a very in-depth analysis" of the facility that the town is required to have completed every 20 years.
The evaluation provided a recommended plan. Its first recommended step was to conduct an engineering study.
Murphy expected that study will begin once the state approved the loan. He thought it could be approved within the month because Elliott was in contact with representatives from the state who knew the application was coming in.