The funding for a new water treatment facility is the subject of a vote that will be put to Milford residents this weekend.


THE DETAILS The funding for a new water treatment facility is the subject of a vote that will be put to Milford residents this weekend.

The current Washington Street Water Treatment facility was built in the 1950s, and has not been upgraded since the 1980s.

The project is estimated to cost about $4 million. The city council has agreed that a loan through the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund would be the most economical choice for the city. The DWSRF loan offers a 1 percent interest rate over a 20-year payment plan as well as 35 percent principle forgiveness.  This option cuts the total amount of borrowed money to $2.6 million with an annual debt service of $143,163.

WHAT WE’VE REPORTED The current facility on Washington Street is the main source of water for the Downtown Milford area and it is also the most centrally located production facility in the city’s water system.

The existing building has many cracks in the exterior bricks as well as rusted and worn out pipes. Erik Retzlaff, an associate with Davis, Bowen, and Friedel Inc., presented the Milford City Council with evidentiary pictures of the condition of the interior and exterior of the building. Retzlaff said that piping and valves are located in the crawl space of the building, making access and maintenance difficult.

“Currently, contractors refuse to make repairs to the existing piping due to its age and condition,” Retzlaff said. “However, it the facility is abandoned, the city¹s ability to perform routine maintenance at the other facilities would be compromised and water quality in downtown Milford would be negatively impacted.”

WHAT’S NEXT The council approved a special vote that will be held from noon to 8 p.m. this Saturday at Milford City Hall. David Beard, the Milford city manager, said the proposed improvements to the Washington Street Plant should take place in the near future.

“The city council is supportive of the extremely good financing package that has been developed that allows these repairs to be completed without an increase to user rates and encourages the citizens to support the proposal in the referendum on Saturday,” Beard said.