On December 4, the City of Franklin broke ground on its new $132.8 million water reclamation facility upgrade project. According to Emily Kelly, LDA Senior Consultant, the project’s expansion, upgrades, and new technology will set a benchmark for treatment plants around the state.
The City’s Water Management Director, Michelle Hatcher concurred, adding that the skid-mounted, thermohydrolosis wastewater treatment system appears to be the first of its kind for a small utility anywhere in the country.
The project is a result of the City’s Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP), which took a holistic look at the best approach to meeting the City’s growing needs and future water and wastewater collection and distribution system requirements as well as long-term management of those systems. Specifically, the plan identified necessary capital improvements and resource management opportunities, including various sanitary sewer treatment and collection system projects for design and implementation.
Because the City of Franklin staff had insured that the city was in a healthy financial position, they were able to qualify for State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans for the project totaling $1 million, including $225,000 in principal forgiveness. Emily Kelly worked with the City leaders throughout, from guiding them through the process of qualifying for placement on the SRF Priority List, to insuring that deadlines were met, to providing guidance on other loan opportunities.
According to Kelly, the City administration’s vision, combined with its sense of fiscal responsibility to its rate payers, paved the way to secure funding for this project that will have long-lasting financial, environmental, and health benefits for the community. “It’s pretty spectacular,” she said.