Efforts to upgrade the Peaceful Valley Lake community’s wastewater treatment system received a well-received boost this week with formal announcement of USDA funding worth $1.95 million through …
Efforts to upgrade the Peaceful Valley Lake community’s wastewater treatment system received a well-received boost this week with formal announcement of USDA funding worth $1.95 million through a combined low-interest loan and grant.
Voters of the lake community gave approval to borrow up to $5 million, through creation of the public water supply district, to make the mandated improvements designed to reduce ammonia levels in their effluence discharge from the existing single-cell lagoon.
The $920,000 being loaned by USDA will be repaid with sewer rate receipts over a 35-year period at an interest rate of 1.25 to 1.5 percent, according to Randy Fuller, a member of the board of directors for the Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Gasconade County.
With acknowledgment of the $1.95 million in loan and grant funds from the USDA, Fuller said property owners can expect to see an increase in their rates but he and fellow board members expect it to be fairly minimal — perhaps an additional $10 a quarter. A decision on that potential increase is expected by the end of the year.
“Right now, we don’t know that,” he said. “Whatever we determine, we will have to raise our rates or keep them where they’re at.”
Cochran Engineering, which helped create the lake community’s sewer and lagoon system, is assisting the PWSD board of directors with the upgrades which are expected to be completed by the end of 2023 when their current permit expires.
“We’ve had extensions” to the permit, said Fuller, one of five board members for the public water supply district including Ray Oldfather, Jim Verhulst, Mike Garlock (president) and Robert Kaiser (vice president). “So far, DNR has been very happy with what we’re doing. We’re showing good faith in what we’re trying to do.”
The lake community’s staff used video cameras to inspect the sewer mains and replaced about 500 feet of line where deterioration was detected. Their inspections included camera views of the iron mains under the lake. “The lines under the water were tested and are fine,” said Fuller. “No leaks detected.”
He said the underwater lines are rated to last up to 125 years.
Fuller said the lake community, among many across the state constructed during the mid-1960s, is believed to be the first one in Missouri to include “central water and sewer” system throughout the development.
Fuller said the formal USDA announcement was shared at the PWSD board meeting Monday. Fuller said they were notified two weeks that funding was being made available.
PWSD No. 1 board members attended the Gasconade County Commission session Oct. 7 seeking approval for $750,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding through the Missouri Department of Economic Development. A public hearing conducted then was part of the process which was signed off on by the commission.
USDA is providing the Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Gasconade County a $920,000 loan and $1,030,000 grant through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program to improve its wastewater lagoon treatment system. The district’s original wastewater treatment and collection system was constructed in 1966, according to the USDA.
“USDA Rural Development offers many programs that are focused on improving the quality of life for rural Missourians,” said D. Clark Thomas, Missouri’s acting director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program offers affordable financing to improve water and wastewater systems for rural communities which not only provides for more reliable systems for rural Missourians but also helps improve the area’s local economy. The project announced today will provide an updated, reliable wastewater treatment system for all Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Gasconade County customers.”
When complete, the upgraded wastewater treatment system will benefit 634 rural Missourians in the district’s service area.
While the district has completed many upgrades to the collection system, the treatment system currently needs to be improved, according to the USDA. The enhancements are needed to continue to ensure compliance with Missouri Department of Natural Resources final effluent limits. Planned improvements include a twin channel oxidation ditch with UV disinfection and new headworks, lift station, sludge holding basin, clarifiers, and a testing building.
“The bottom line is they (DNR) don’t want single-cell lagoons,” said Fuller.
Cost estimates on the complete project have been cited at nearly $2.7 million.
Members of the lake community’s board for the Public Water Supply District No. 1 are scheduled to meet again at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, at the lodge building to discuss the rate issue further.
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