The City of Milford held a public hearing on Monday, October 17 to reveal the plan for the Washington Street Water Treatment Facility Replacement Project. The reconstruction of this site will prepare a complete rehabilitation of the City Water Plant and the City owned office building located on Washington Street. City officials state that the facility is outdated and has outlived its useful life. The new Replacement Project will replace an existing non-producing well and perform upgrades to the well control system on a number of the City’s existing well to improve efficiency.
The water treatment facility was originally used as part of the City’s Electrical Generation Plant and after its abandonment in the 1950’s was converted to a water treatment facility. The last upgrade that was done to the building occurred in the mid-1980’s. The condition of several areas of the building has deteriorated since then including the piping, reservoir and the building itself. The City explained to those in attendance that “contractors have refused to make repairs to the existing piping due to its age and condition.”
City officials remarked about the importance of the Washington Street Water Treatment Facility noting that it is the most centrally located facility in the City’s water system and is a main source of water for downtown Milford. Officials also stated that if the facility was simply abandoned it would “compromise the City’s ability to perform routine maintenance on other facilities and negatively impact the water quality in downtown Milford.”
After the presentation,City Council voted to move forward on the Washington Street Water Plant Project and to take advantage of a $4,000,000 Loan and Grant package from the State’s Office of Drinking Water through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The terms of the financing are $4,000,000 loan with 35% principal forgiveness. The loan is broken down to a $2.6 million loan and $1.4 million grant. The loan will be issued at a rate of 1% for a 20 year term.
The primary focus of the project will be rebuilding the water plant but the project will also include the demolition of the offices located in front of the water plant to meet production needs for the City. The City of Milford expects to move the billing staff back downtown in this location to increase accessibility to residents. As of now the date of construction has not be determined.
To continue with the project the City of Milford will have to gain public approval through a referendum which has been scheduled for Saturday, November 9 from 12 noon to 8 pm at City Hall. According to the Charter of the City of Milford the referendum must be set at least 30 days after the approval and no more than 60 days after the approval. Eligibility of Milford residents for the referendum will be the same as annual elections. For more information on the project or the referendum process contact City Hall by phone at 302-424-3712 or in person at 201 S. Walnut Street in downtown Milford.