Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Municipal administration quote of the day: wastewater treatment

From "Lake Wales commission says no to Main Street funding" in the Lake Wales (FL) News-Chief:

The city's 24-year-old wastewater treatment plant is halfway through its expected life of 50-67 years. In the past, to keep budgets and sewer fees low, the city did not budget to fund maintenance on the system.

Now the plant needs to be upgraded in its capacity. Among the projects needed are a capacity improvement to move it from 1.9 million gallons per day to 2.1 million, as well as constructing facilities designed to treat wastewater from the Crooked Lake Park sewer system, which is being ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Plant refurbishments are on the State Revolving Fund low interest loan program. Total funding approved by the state is $3.4 million, of which $1.96 million will be allocated to rehabilitate the treatment plant.

Not funding maintenance ends up being very costly in the longer term, and probably doesn't really save any money.

Although this does remind me of how DC Councilmember Jim Graham thinks that crumbling sewer pipes and the conversion of a combined overflow stormwater and sewage piping system to separate systems can happen through "reform" and not through increased funding. See "Toxic Waters: Saving U.S. Water and Sewer Systems Would Be Costly" from the New York Times.

And in Chattanooga, an unsuccessful recall effort was raised against the Mayor, in large part due to large increases in stormwater and sewage fees to fund improvements required by federal regulation. See "Littlefield still effective, some observers say" from the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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