WILMINGTON — Tucked snugly in the $1.7 trillion spending bill Congress passed before Christmas was a $400,000 appropriation for the City of Wilmington wastewater treatment plant project.
The city was made aware of this funding opportunity last April through a meeting city councilman Michael Snarr had with a staffer of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Ellen Short. Snarr also made contact with U.S. Representative Mike Carey’s office. Staffs of both legislators provided support in the application process and Carey ultimately submitted the funding request to the House Appropriations committee.
“I was excited to play a small role in bringing this funding to my community,” said Second Ward council member Michael Snarr. “Once I learned about the grant opportunity, I immediately contacted Public Works Director Rick Schaffer. Despite the deadline being four days away and over Easter weekend, Rick completed the grant and submitted it on time. His dedication to the city always impresses me.”
Construction of a new wastewater treatment plant will begin in the spring. The new plant will be directly across the street from the current one on Nelson Avenue. The existing plant has components more than 85 years old, is reaching the end of its useful life, and is not capable of meeting stringent Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requirements for the water leaving the plant, according to a news release. In addition to improved treatment, the new plant will have expanded capacity, enabling the city to promote job creation and industrial development.
“I am grateful to Congressman Carey for seeing this funding through the process, and I have sent him a personal letter saying so,” said Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth. “We’re taking on a massive project here. Every funding avenue available is being pursued to lessen the burden this project will have on our citizens.”