Calvert City Council greenlighted a two-year overhaul of the city’s wastewater treatment plant at its Aug. 12 meeting by authorizing plant Manager Roger Colburn to proceed with an application to obtain a low-interest loan up to $2.958 million to finance the project. The water/sewer department will obtain the loan from the Kentucky Infrastructures Authority at 1.75 percent interest for a term of 20 or 30 years. 

When completed by the end of 2021, the city’s wastewater treatment plant will be a virtually new facility, Colburn said. “We are under an agreed order at our wastewater treatment plant (with state regulators) and have been for about a year,” he explained. “The agreed order requires us to make certain improvements to the treatment system. We applied for a low-interest loan through the KIA revolving fund program and we were rated high enough to make us eligible to obtain that loan. … We put a loan application together to borrow up to $2.958 million. I don’t think we are going to need anywhere near that much money and we’ve told KIA that. We’ve not procured any engineering services yet so we really don’t know what the total (cost) will be. Depending on exact needs it could vary anywhere from about $800,000 to $1.5 million. The project entails replacing our intake lift station at the wastewater plant, aeration, improvements to our disinfection system and improvements to our outfall. Now, we’re involved in desludging the lagoons and placing liners. … The desludging is going to cost about $300,000 and the liners $350,000,” Colburn said, noting the lagoons were built in 1975 and have never been desludged. “We expect another 30 years of life out of this facility once this project is done.”

Colburn said the water board won’t do anything without the city council’s approval. “Our next procedure will be to procure engineering service and define our preliminary estimates for the improvements needed,” he said. “Then we’ll start taking the projects one at a time. We expect about a two-year implementation. We’ll start the work in 2020 and take all of 2021 to get it all done. The recommendation will be to desludge the lagoons every five to 10 years” in the future. Colburn noted the failure to desludge the lagoons periodically “is where we got in trouble in the first place — it affected our ability to treat wastewater.”

Prior to the regular meeting the council conducted a public hearing on the use of about $550,000 in state municipal aid funds accumulated over the last 10 years to upgrade Fifth Avenue. No one voiced opposition to the city’s plan. City Administrator John Ward said the project includes milling, resurfacing, crowning the street’s center and stenciling to indicate shared lanes for bicycles. Milling will begin as “soon as we get the bids out,” Ward said.

In other business the council:

-Learned a fuel system at Kentucky Dam Airport could be installed by November. Aviation Consultant Brandon Tanner said the contractor planned to be on site and begin layout work the next day (Aug. 13). “They are planning on having the electrical subcontractor on site sometime during the week,” Tanner said. “And they will start inventorying the site for the electrical (system).” The contractor plans to do the site work while the aviation and jet fuel tanks are being manufactured, which will take 10 to 12 weeks lead time before delivery, Tanner said. “So, while that is being made, the contractor is going to put the cable in, do the slab and all that kind of work. They are planning on doing the site work in August and September, the concrete in October, and the tanks being installed in November."  

On a second project — two eight-unit T-hangars — Tanner said he is putting together a professional services agreement. “Our targeted schedule for that is going to be pretty condensed,” he said. He expects to have a 60% set of plans and specifications the first week in September, a 100% set of plans by mid-September, and bid opening the end of September so it can be approved at the October council meeting. “That would allow the contractor to potentially start work in November and December of this year,” Tanner said. Erection of the T-hangars would likely be pushed to the spring of 2020. There is potential to have both the fuel and T-Hangar projects started before the end of this year, Tanner said.

Councilman Gene Colburn said at one point the council had discussed having the T-hangars built by private interests. “When did that change?” he asked.

Mayor Lynn Jones said the plan changed when the airport board made the recommendation three or four months ago. “We did initially talk about privately built hangars, but then when the state came in and said they would furnish the concrete and the asphalt, that’s when we moved to do it ourselves. Plus, we are going to get paid back (through leases),” the mayor said. “The state is going to come back and build a hangar for the fixed base operator. That’s a million-dollar investment.”  

-Heard a report from Marketing Director Blair Travis regarding what she learned about Bentonville, Arkansas’ trail system during a recent visit. Jones noted that the three-community trail system in the Bentonville environs generated $127 million in gross revenue. He suggested Calvert City should become a sister city to Bentonville. Travis also reported she has met with Grand Rivers authorities and they have agreed to join with Calvert City in a feasibility study by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Travis also reported plans to meet with Trigg County Judge-Executive Hollis Alexander and Cadiz officials to discuss potential for connecting trails of area communities with those in Land Between the Lakes.

- Approved an agreement between the city and Calvert Area Development Association for an 18-month lease to CADA of the old Calvert Bank building at 30 Aspen Street. The building, erected in 1908, is the oldest commercial structure in the city. City Attorney Greg Northcutt said the 18-month lease gives both parties an opportunity to evaluate the agreement again.

- Adopted on second reading an ordinance annexing 1.42 acres belonging to Garrett Travis on the southeast side of Lone Valley Road.

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