City moving forward with water plant plans


Would be located in area of reservoir
Marysville City Council is expected to vote tonight on legislation allowing the city to borrow up to $50 million to replace its water treatment plant.
Officials have said they are writing the legislation allowing the city to borrow up to $50 million, though they do not believe they will need the full amount.
City officials say they believe the plant, which will sit near the city’s upground reservoir on Raymond Road, will cost between $46- and $48-million. The city will also need to extend water lines and other infrastructure to the site and would like to complete “a handful of other items.” Officials are estimating the total cost to be in the $55-$60M range.
Initially the plant and other water related items was projected to cost more than $70-million.
“The numbers are coming in better than we originally thought, however, that always depends on the bid process,” City Manager Terry Emery said. “But we feel pretty comfortable with that number.”
Officials say they expect to pay about $24.4 million in cash. That would give the city about $8 million in reserves in various water funds.
“Being able to pay that much in cash goes a long way in being able to tell our residents we aren’t going to need to raise their rates,” Emery said.
City officials have repeatedly promised that despite the project costs, the city will not even consider raising water until at least 2025.
Andrew Brossart, a bond counselor with Bradley Payne Advisors, cautioned council that its pledge to freeze rates could hurt its rating when it is time to borrow.
In a work session about the project, City Engineer Jeremy Hoyt said that all along, there has been “marching orders not to touch water rates.”
“That is rule number one, everything else falls in line after that,” Hoyt said at the meeting.
Emery said the city has been saving money for about 10 years in preparation for this project.
He said city officials have been saving money from a variety of funds, all water related, and primarily capacity fees.
Emery said that as homes and businesses are added to the city and the city’s water service area, they pay a fee to tap into the system. He said that growth is what has allowed the city to save so much money.
“When you know a substantial project like this is coming, you use your resources to position yourself in the best possible way,” he said, adding that city leaders, for the last decade, have “done a great job planning so they can utilize these funds.”
Emery said the project is coming at “a perfect time.”
“Rates have never been lower,” he said.
Brossart said bond rates are currently low, but he does not expect them to rise until after the 2020 election.
He also said that a recent increased credit rating should save the city about $900k over the life of the bond. 
City Public Service Director Mike Andrako has said the current facility has a capacity of 4.2 million gallons of water a day. Although usage varies greatly depending on the time of year and needs, at peak use in the summer, the facility reached has reached as high as 3.98 million gallons a day. He said that typically the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates entities to replace facilities if they are at 75% or more of their capacity.
Hoyt said the new plant will “provide the additional capacity needed for future growth, which includes areas throughout southeastern Union County.”
He said that in addition to putting the plant closer to the reservoir, by moving to the Raymond Road, the existing North Main Street site can be considered for redevelopment. City administration has said it could take a couple of years to fund the lagoon remediation.
Officials have said that needs to be a priority because they expect there to be a lot of interest in the site.
City officials said they are about ready to put the project out to bid. They said they expect to be able to close on bids in March or April with actual construction to begin in July. Officials said the plant will likely not be complete until August 2022.

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