CLEAR FORK VALLEY — A project that will bring new wastewater treatment methods to the area, plus protect native habitat, is in the works for the villages of Butler and Bellville.
A new plant, which will be on State Route 97 West, is planned to deliver treatment services, plus protect the Clear Fork River, one of only two rivers in Ohio that support trout habitat.
Brian McCartney, of K.E. McCartney and Associates, said this is a “very important project for the entire Clear Fork Valley ecosystem.”
The new plant will replace four treatment facilities that are currently polluting the Clear Fork River valley, said McCartney. This will also make them “into one highly efficient and technologically advanced regional wastewater treatment plant.”
The new plant will replace the treatment facility in Bellville, which has had “long standing odor issues,” he said. It also will resolve Environmental Protection Agency findings and orders filed against the Butler facility, he said.
K. E. McCartney is the engineer for the project.
McCartney said it is one of the first wastewater treatment plants in Ohio to be funded by the Ohio EPA under their new regionalization goals that encourage regional facilities.
McCartney said the project would not have proceeded without help from Butler mayor Joe Stallard and Bellville Mayor Teri Brenkus. He also credited their administrators and other village officials.
The estimated cost of the project is $12.6 million. Officials have been working to obtain grant money to fund the work. $4.5 million in grant money has been confirmed by the Ohio EPA.
Information distributed by the McCartney firm says this is the largest amount of money any community has received in 2018 from the EPA.
The remaining $7.35 million for the project has been approved for a 30-year, interest free loan from the Ohio EPA.
Design engineering is scheduled to be completed by May 2019 and construction is supposed to start in the summer of 2019. Completion is expected by December 2020.
The site is going to be where a barn owned by the Flockerzie family was located. That barn has been demolished, but an embankment along State Route 97 will hide the facility from view, McCartney said.
The project has a grant request for $500,000 with the Ohio EPA and is working with the Ohio Development Services Agency for a block grant of $750,000, information from the McCartney firm says.
The block grant requires both villages to get information from residents. The village of Butler has completed that process, and it is now being undertaken by Bellville. Inserts are being sent to residents in bills, and everyone is asked to respond.
The process requires 300 responses to be filed, according to officials.
Bellville officials talked about the need for responses to the survey at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Bellville village administrator Larry Weirich said one employee was stuffing all the envelopes until he and Bellville mayor Teri Brenkus decided to help.