PRYOR, OK — Pryor Times
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board approved a $3,485,000 loan to the Locust Grove Public Works Authority. The action was taken Wednesday, announced J.D. Strong, executive director of the state agency.
Mayor Heath Holman appeared before the board in support of the loan application.
The loan proceeds will finance improvements that are required to comply with an order from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, state and local officials said.
The funds will be used to rehabilitate or replace major equipment in the 16-year-old municipal sewage treatment plant, to improve the treatment capability.
“Replacing the equipment will maximize the use of existing infrastructure while maintaining existing plant operations, improving treatment efficiencies, and providing greater operator control,” project engineers said.
The improvements will include installation of new wastewater flow meters and new 8-inch isolation valves, renovation of the existing sequential batch reactor blowers with new 20-horsepower blowers, replacement of diffusers and blowers in the post-chlorination aeration basin, installation of new chemical feed equipment, and construction of a new sludge digester.
The town’s wastewater system consists of seven miles of wastewater collection lines, four lift stations, and a sewage treatment plant designed to treat 900,000 gallons per day. The plant has two flow-equalization basins that can store 4.3 million gallons of overflow and hold it for treatment. Treated effluent is disinfected with chlorine before it’s discharged into Crutchfield Creek, a tributary of the Neosho River.
Locust Grove has 839 water customers and 449 sewer customers (many residents in the Mayes County town are on septic waste-disposal systems), records reflect. The town’s service area extends south to the Cherokee Turnpike, east to one-quarter mile east of Road 82, north to Joe Koelsch Drive, and west to north/south Road 4390.
Joe Freeman, chief of the Water Resources Board’s Financial Assistance Division, calculated that the state loan will save Locust Grove utility customers an estimated $1,045,000 in interest charges over the 22-year life of the debt, compared to traditional financing.
The loan will be secured with a lien on the city’s water, sewer and trash collection systems, the receipts from a 2-cent city sales tax, and a mortgage on the municipal water and sewer systems, Freeman said.
Since 1983 the Water Resources Board has approved over $3 billion in loans and grants – an average of $100 million per year for three consecutive decades – for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout Oklahoma.
“We thank state Sen. Kim David and state Rep. Ben Sherrer for their support of this project,” Strong said.