Article Courtesy of Ignazio Messina|The Blade|September 18, 2014|Shared as Educational Material
A $7.5 million interest-free loan the Collins administration wants to take from the state to pay for water treatment infrastructure improvements at the Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment facility will replace interest-bearing bonds the city would have had to buy.
Mayor D. Michael Collins said the city would apply for the loan before a Sept. 30 deadline set by the state, which is offering the money for improvements to public water systems and wastewater treatment systems to address phosphorus pollution in the Lake Erie watershed.
Gov. John Kasich last month announced $150 million in state loan money to help cities deal with expenses related to mitigating Lake Erie’s toxic algae problem. Much of $100 million available for sewerage work comes from the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund Congress sets each year.
The administration also identified another $50 million for water-treatment repairs and improvements. The event was in response to the algae-induced Aug. 2-4 water crisis that made metro Toledo’s tap water undrinkable and untouchable for that water system’s 500,000 customers.
“The reality is we have would have to bond out that money so to have the ability to get an interest-free loan versus going on the market for bonds makes far more sense,” Mayor Collins said.
Toledo City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a resolution in support of the loan application. Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson said she supports the loan.
“The city has to meet the challenges of algal blooms,” she said. “But we have to be frugal and monitor this money and also make sure we don’t over extend ourselves.”
Warren Henry, the city’s program manager for water infrastructure, said the money would pay for ways to “boost the effectiveness of the chemical feed at the city’s low service pumping station by increasing feed capacity for certain chemicals.”
It would also pay for more chemical feed facilities during the treatment process at the drinking water plant.
“We will be doing an engineering evaluation for the advance treatment process that can zero in on algal bloom toxins,” Mr. Henry said. “There are different technologies out there and we will be evaluating that over the next few months and by spring we will know what we will implement.”