Washington County commissioners expect to learn Wednesday whether they will receive $1.4 million in state funds to help with the second phase of the Devola sewer project.
A committee of regional officials will meet at 10 a.m. at the Marietta Holiday Inn to select projects to fund out of submissions from 10 counties. Those selected will then be sent to the state for final approval.
The county is seeking $400,000 in grant funding and $1 million in a zero-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission, Commissioner Cora Marshall said. The estimated total cost of the project is about $5.9 million.
"My interest is to try to reduce the cost for the end user as much as possible," Marshall said after the commissioners' minutes meeting Thursday.
The first phase of the project involved rehabilitating existing sewer lines in Devola and tying in with the City of Marietta's wastewater treatment plant, which allowed the county to raze the aging Devola plant and replace it with a lift station. That $2.1 million cost was covered by low-interest loans through the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.
The second phase, mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, entails installing new sewer lines in parts of Devola that do not have them. It's expected to affect about 440 customers.
"This is to help eliminate the water quality issues they're having in Devola from the on-site septic systems," Marshall said. "It's saturating their soil and getting into their water wells."
In other business, commissioners on Thursday afternoon reviewed plans and bid specifications prepared by DLH Design and Kramer Engineering for the purchase and installation of new backup generators for the courthouse and Washington County Home.
The projects are expected to be bid as one in an effort to lower costs. The specifications place the expenses at $140,531 for the courthouse project and $155,510 for the county home, with an option for $40,000 in additional wiring there, said Eric Skomra, county information technology director.
The county home generator was installed in the 1970s and the one serving the courthouse is even older than that, Skomra said. The need to update the equipment became apparent during power outages caused by the powerful derecho windstorm that struck the area this summer.
The courthouse's generator succumbed to a fire, but has since been reconditioned for the time being, Skomra said. But officials are not optimistic it would provide sufficient power to county offices during another extended outage.
"It was built and implemented to run the jail" when it was in downtown Marietta, Skomra said. "It was not built to support the rest of the courthouse and the annex."
The generator at the county home failed temporarily during the July outage but was repaired soon thereafter, Skomra said.
Commissioners plan to review some details and vote on whether to seek bids next week. The deadline would likely be set for the second or third week in January to allow companies ample time to submit bids around the holidays.