Regional wastewater treatment plant receives $ 55 million state loan to expand


The state approved a $ 55 million loan to the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority in Benton County.

The loan will be used to double the capacity of the regional wastewater treatment facility and replace a faulty pipeline, the authority’s board chairman, George Spence of Bentonville said Thursday. The state’s agriculture ministry announced the low-interest loan on Thursday.

The plant expansion will take three years, according to estimates, from the time design work is completed, Spence said. Design work is underway, he said. The expanded plant will be able to process 7.2 million gallons per day, up from about 3.6 million currently.

The original design for the plant called for a need to grow to 5.4 million gallons per day, but the growth is faster than expected, Spence said. The original plant was completed in 2010. Almost all of the growth requiring expansion comes from Bentonville, he said.

The original Bentonville pipeline experienced problems soon after it was installed and will be replaced, Spence said. The factory has another line that extends to Tontitown. Elm Springs most recently joined the system and Cave Springs is in the process of connecting. Springdale and Rogers are also partners in the administration factory and reserve the right to tie up in the future.

The terms of the loan allow 30 years to repay the money and an interest rate of 1.5%, which includes processing fees, Spence said.

In a related question, Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman addressed the board, which met on Thursday. The mayor called for a strategic plan for the regional public service which, so far, has had only one large city and two smaller ones connected to it. She would like Rogers and Springdale to give tentative dates for when they plan to log into the system. Spence said council members, who represent member cities, will speak to their mayors ahead of the next council meeting in April.

Springdale board member Chris Weiser reminded the board and the mayor that the system has operated without an executive director since 2012. Formulating long-term strategies to encourage more cities to join the system was part of the process. what an executive director would do, he said. . Other board members suggested that a consultant rather than a full-time director could fill this role.

In Washington County, Greenland will receive two state loans, a $ 2.2 million to replace and expand a lifting station, which pumps sewage from lower levels, and a loan of $ 1.6 million. dollars to replace a discharge line, which is a sewer line. who is under pressure. Greenland is not a member of NACA and the loans are not tied to the Benton County loan.

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