Ryan Brauen, project manager for Wessler Engineering, left the members of Milford’s Town Council in a considerably better mood Monday, Sept. 12, than he did back in June. Then, Brauen’s answer to Milford’s wastewater plant upgrades, mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to meet new requirements for phosphorous removal, was a plan costing more than $1 million and requiring a considerable tax hike.
Monday night, at the council’s monthly public meeting, he presented a “new improved reboot” of the plan that cuts the earlier estimate in half, roughly $540,000, what Brauen called a “more palatable number” for a plan that also “keeps IDEM happy.”
The plan changes included a reduction in aerobic digester improvements, which, said Brauen “would have been nice but were unnecessary.” The planned sludge dewatering changes were also altered, which will result in more hauling but gives Brubaker “a lot of flexibility.” Another cost saving factor was Wessler’s decision to avoid bulk storage of phosphorous removal materials, using 250 gallon totes replaced every two to four weeks.
Wessler’s research into the RAS pumps led them to conclude they may not require changing, but rather the piping leading into them is “incorrect.” One pump will be changed, however, to test these assertions.
The council voted to enter into an engineering agreement with Wessler Engineering not to exceed $90,000 for the duration of the project. Wessler will oversee the design, bidding and permit process.
A construction permit must be presented to IDEM by March 1, giving the town less than six months to put a plan in place. Brauen hopes to have bids in by May 2017.