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Water plant work may be done by 2013

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners learned Tuesday that needed upgrades and improvements at the Airport Industrial Park’s water and waste system should be completed by the end of 2013.
In August, the board approved spending approximately $2.87 million on the project, with $1.67 million coming from a federal grant. The improvements are necessary because the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued a consent order in April that orders the county to fix the problems with river pollution and old equipment.
Immediate actions that need to be taken include the installation of a filter in the equalization, the removal of solids that have built up in the system, the replacement of existing valves at both reactors and the installation of a temporary “baffle wall” within the equalization filter. A baffle wall is a barrier that lengthens the path the fluids must travel, increasing treatment time and allowing additional particles to separate out.
County Administrator Tom Patton presented a time schedule at the regular board meeting Tuesday morning, spelling out the tentative order of steps to complete the project.
Under the project plan, the design will be completed by the end of June 2012, and bids will be opened Nov. 11, 2012, with the contract awarded Dec. 15, 2012. A notice to proceed will be issued Jan. 15, 2013, and construction will then begin immediately.
The construction is slated to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.
Patton also said the county will save money by administering the grant with existing staff, rather than hiring an outside firm to administer it.
“We’ll be saving the taxpayers about $20,000,” he said.
Patton said he believes the timeline is accurate.
“I think it’s pretty accurate, barring companies not being able to produce the products that we need,” Patton said. “But we’ve built some time in there to do that.”
Board Chairman Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely said it is important to get the project done quickly.
“That’s one that we don’t need to get behind on,” he said.