MONTICELLO — Several aldermen expressed support for the idea of a new wastewater treatment plant but a vote to green light the $8.6 million project is still in the future.
"It's infrastructure that has to be done," said Alderman John Miller, who pointed out a new plant has been discussed for several years and the cost keeps rising.
A majority of the plant is 40 years old, and new Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on nitrate and phosphate removal are prompting the discussion of a new facility.
"How many people drive around in a 1970s car? That's the age of that plant," Miller said. "It's got to be fixed."
Engineer Andy Kieser gave a presentation showing what a new sewer plant might look like. He said it would have two new lift stations, and replace the current underground bar screen with one that is above grade. That would make it easier and safer to repair.
The plant would also increase treatment capacity. For example, in wet weather events the capacity would rise from 2 million to 3 million gallons of water per day.
City Superintendent Floyd Allsop said state law mandates that the plant must be funded through user fees, and said he is working on a structure that would "try to impact everyone kind of equally."