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Timeline set for Devola sewer design

The Devola sewer project was a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting of the Washington County Commission.

Commissioners signed a contract with WSP Inc. of Columbus to start the first phase of the project, effective immediately, which includes design, engineering, bidding services, construction observation, construction staking and contract administration of the project.

Commissioner Ron Feathers said although a plan had been done six years ago, the $524,000 contract with WSP will not be the same.

“Stantec (of Columbus) had a proposal to go down the middle of the streets for the sewer,” he said.

The location of the sewer was brought up and Feathers said part of what WSP’s contract will cover is the acquisition of rights of way.

“We hope to partner with homeowners to purchase, or they can donate, right of way when there is no alley behind their houses,” said county engineer Roger Wright.

Work on the project will not start until, at the earliest, the third quarter of 2020.

“The general plan has to be sent to the (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency) by Nov. 29,” Wright said.

Two public meetings are scheduled where the project will be discussed and information will be shared with Devola residents.

Commissioner David White said the first meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 28, will include a representative from the engineering firm WSP USA of Columbus, a legal representative from (the county law firm) Bricker and Eckler, the county commissioners, County Engineer Roger Wright and Washington County Prosecutor Nicole Coil.

The WSP contract suggests the second meeting be held April 14, as the plans are to be submitted by April 21.

“The phase one target date is July 2020,” Wright noted.

Phase one will be 30 percent of the project. The design phase, phase two, will take the project to 90 percent finished, and phase three will finish the project.

This project has been in various stages of planning for at least seven years. The Ohio EPA ordered the project done in 2012 due to high levels of nitrates in well water. The commissioners at the time voted not to follow the order, which led to the Ohio EPA suing the county The original court order required the county to provide sewerage connections to homes on Lawton Road by the end of 2020, with the remainder of the community to be connected by 2025.

The project will affect approximately 400 households using either drywall disposal systems or septic tanks for wastewater.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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