SD6 to break ground in late 2021

By Kelsey Kimbler -

PREBLE COUNTY — According to Preble County Engineer Kyle Cross ground is set to be broken for Sewer District Six (SD6) in late 2021.

During the Preble County Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8, Cross gave the board his annual Landfill, Recycling & Sewer District report. He updated the board on several topics, from leachate and trash to outstanding balances. However, his discussion on sewer districts garnered the most discussion.

He started by stating, there are no issues to report with Sewer District Three or Sewer District Four. He is in the process of finalizing amendments with CDM Smith to proceed with design for treatment and collection. They will be two separate projects, in order to leverage OPWC funding.

“I did have a conversation with Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC). [They] spoke with [a representative] with the EPA. The clean water initiative is H2Ohio – there has been two years of committed funding with the intent of it being a 10 year program. Year one being Lake Erie, to address it. Year two is looking at EPA, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource projects. They don’t know what they’re going to do and how they’re going to spend that money,” Cross said.

“[The representative] indicated [SD6] would be a prime project for it. I asked also, is this something where they would fund the project in its entirety or to put a little bit towards multiples? He didn’t have an answer for that. Discussing with him our timeline of next year, realistically for construction this would fall under year three. He felt it would be a good candidate, so he is going to speak to the EPA and see if he can get any more information.”

Commissioner Rodney Creech asked if Cross believed they would break ground in 2021 like discussed.

“Realistically, [we will break ground] the end of 2021. What they have proposed in that scope is that the contract be awarded in the end of April of 2021. If that is the case, I would say second half of 2021 to break ground and begin construction,” Cross said.

“That would be a very aggressive schedule,” Commissioner Chris Day said.

He added, there are “logistics” they still have to figure out before moving forward.

“It’s kind of a two-fold thing, where we need a set of plans to figure out what we’re going to be doing, and once we get that we have to come up with the funding,” Cross said. “We need the plans to know how much money is going to need to be acquired to make this happen. We can’t go after the money until we know what the cost is.”

In other business:

•According to Cross, 2019 was a good year for trash with almost 38,000 tons, which is the highest it has been since 2007. The monthly average was a little over 3,160 tons per month. It was also a good year for leachate, with the county being down almost two million gallons from 2018.

“Things are going in the right direction there — more trash, less leachate,” he said.

•Cross also discussed a local business’ outstanding balance. It would cost more to pursue the outstanding balance legally then the amount of the balance. The current plan is to close that account indefinitely and the county will not accept any more waste from the company until the account is brought current. At that point, waste will be accepted on a per-trip, cash-only basis.

He added, multiple parties have reached out to the company, but they will not return phone calls.

•Cross also discussed a company who pays their balance, but has not paid their late fees, since they pay their bill every 45 days. Commissioner Day noted, there is a process for writing off their late fees, but it is lengthy.

Commissioner Denise Robertson asked if someone else could pay the balance. Commissioner Creech asked if they could change the late fee policy to give companies more time to pay their balances.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH