The city of Greenfield is moving ahead with plans on a huge investment that will impact residents in more ways than one moving forward.
Officials have unveiled and approved plans to build a new wastewater treatment plant, which comes with a price tag of about $39 million, and is deemed necessary to stay in compliance with requirements with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Nicholas Dezelan, wastewater utility manager, told Giant FM, the process for the new plant began two years ago, but on April 1, 2020, the city received a letter of noncompliance from IDEM for repeated ammonia violations, something the town is working to get in compliance. Dezelan told Giant FM a recent study showed several things to the city of Greenfield, including the need for an expansion of the plant, which is located at 809 S. Street and takes care of all the city’s residential and commercial water use.
Dezelan said the hope is construction will be underway next year and by Oct. 1, 2022 it needs to be online and ready to go for the city.
Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell said the upgrades were necessary, especially as growth continues to come to his city.
Fewell said he knows there is never a good time to raise rates, but he admits Greenfield has been working on this project for two years. Fewell said he understands some residents are financially strapped during this period, but residents had an opportunity to speak out against the measure.
Mike Fruth, director of utilities for Greenfield, echoed Fewell’s statements, saying it is vital the town maintains the plant and makes improvements for the next generation.
The city is paying for the project with bonds through a rate increase for Greenfield utility customers.
The new rates will hit customers July 1 and will be stretched out in three steps over two years. After the initial increase in July, residents will see an increase in March 2021 and January 2022.
According to city officials, a small residential customer using 1,000 gallons of water in a month would see their rates increase from $19.77 to $36.89 in 2022. In July, the rate will be set at $4.42 per 1,000 gallons, and increase to $5.22 next March and then $5.90 in January 2022.