Upper Sandusky City Council met in special session Monday night to choose an engineering firm for waterline improvements in the city’s northeast quadrant.
Council voted unanimously to hire Poggemeyer Design Group, of Bowling Green, to handle the project.
“We’re glad to finally get this done,” Mayor Scott Washburn said. “It’s been a long time coming and we really appreciate the residents of the northeast quadrant being patient with us.”
The estimated cost to replace the waterlines is $2,940,875. The city has been pre-approved for a 30-year, 0-percent interest $1 million loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission. The remaining $1.94 million will be covered by a 2-percent interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, for which the city also has been pre-approved.
The project includes replacement of deteriorated and undersized waterlines which will improve pressure, water quality and fire protection in the area.
“The 4-inch (lines currently in place), that leaves a lot in the area uncovered for good flow and fire protection, not to mention the water quality issues you have,” said Thomas Stalter, principal owner of Poggemeyer. “A lot of those old lines are probably full of tuberculation (small mounds of corrosion in the lines) and maybe instead of a 4-inch, you are running down to maybe 1 or 2 inches of actual flow area. That would explain why you are running into such low pressure and flows in this area.”
The project includes replacing the old 4-inch waterlines with 8-inch lines. It also includes a 10- or 12-inch waterline on Bigelow Street to enhance flow and pressure to the area.
“I did not know until (Monday) that there was not a fire hydrant that could cover that apartment complex down there (at the corner of East Wyandot Avenue and North Third Street),” council president Don Spiegel said. “That’s scary to me.”
“(Residents living in that area) are paying what everybody else is paying and they are forced to get their own filtration systems and they have clothes getting ruined,” Washburn added. “They have been paying the increased rates and have been a lot more understanding than I would have been.”
It remains unclear what effect the project will have on water rates, but the city is hoping to complete the project without an increase.
“The plan is not to raise rates right now, but until all the pricing comes in, they don’t know yet,” Upper Sandusky Water Plant Supervisor Dave Westbrook said.
City council will vote on an emergency ordinance Monday to officially get the project rolling.
Construction is expected to be complete in October 2013.
By CHANDA NEELY