WILMINGTON — Major updates and upgrades are on the horizon for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
At Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, members held the first reading of an ordinance authorizing Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker “to approve the selection of the Progressive Design-Build Team,” according to the resolution.
The Progressive Design-Build Team will be the ones designing and constructing upgraded facilities for wastewater treatment — a $24 million project for the city.
Designs for the plant and establishing the criteria for it with an engineer began in February. Public Works Director Rick Schaffer expects construction of the new plant will occur in 2022 and 2023, with the hopes of it being open in January 2024.
Councilmember Nick Eveland expressed concerns before the reading had occurred, primarily about not meeting the team before approving the project.
“We’re going to spend $24 million of city money on this project. Are we going to meet the people you’re going to contract with?” Eveland asked.
Shidaker told Eveland that for the last two days he and a committee team had been going over applicants for the project.
“It started off with a request for qualifications. We received six legitimate firms,” said Shidaker. “We scored the top three who then got to come in for an interview.
“They weren’t 15-minute interviews. We spent all day interviewing them, drilling them with questions.”
Shidaker added they have a “criteria engineer” that’s been advising them on who they think is the most qualified.
“Of the top three, this is what they (the build team) do,” said Shidaker. “We’ve made it clear to them we don’t want to be an experiment. We don’t want you to try something new. We don’t need the Cadillac … we need the Honda that’ll get us from Point A to Point B.”
Eveland added he wasn’t questioning their decisions; he just wanted to meet them and have them introduce themselves to council.
The resolution also states the city will need to enter into this agreement to secure Ohio EPA Water Control Loan Funds.
A second and third reading was scheduled for the next council meeting, on June 17.
Also during council:
• Mayor John Stanforth announced during his report that Assistant Police Chief Bob Martin will be retiring from the Wilmington Police Department. “We’re going to miss Bob,” said Stanforth, praising him for his work with WPD.
• Stanforth highlighted a positive report he received from a citizen about Chris Reiley of the City Water Department when he helped repair a sinkhole at a local residence.
• Stanforth praised Jessica Earley and her kids who were “paying it back to the community” by cleaning the Veterans Memorial.
• Permits can now be applied for on the City of Wilmington’s website at wilmingtonoh.org.
• Councilmember Eveland addressed concerns brought up about stormwater fees and how they’re calculated. City officials advised residents can visit the Stormwater Utility page on the city website to see how fees are assessed and how to get more information.