Kentucky Division of Water officials are reviewing Danville’s plans to expand its water treatment plant, and once state officials sign off on the project, the city can formally pursue state and federal funding programs.
Sending out the $19 million project for bidding has been delayed by a lack of federal funds, Brent Tippey, vice president of HDR, told Danville City Commission on Monday. HDR is the firm managing the expansion project.
“It’s going to be a slow period until the funding commitment comes in,” Tippey said.
Officials hope Danville will receive a $12.8 million Rural Development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture next year.
If the USDA grant is awarded, Danville also likely would receive a $1 million Community Development Block Grant.
The rest of the funds likely would come through loans from organizations such as the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.
Because it is an election year, officials do not know exactly when funding commitments will be made for 2013, Tippey said.
“It could be Dec. 1, Dec. 15 or it could be Feb. 15,” Tippey said. “We hope the federal budget is passed sooner rather than later.”
Mayor Bernie Hunstad and City Manager Ron Scott recently met with Kentucky Department of Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder and other state officials.
“It was a productive meeting, but there was no real commitment for funding,” Scott said.
However, the meeting did help state officials better understand the water needs of Danville, the mayor noted.
“We’ve lost a considerable amount of industry in the last 10 years, but our water consumption did not go down,” Hunstad said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is enacting new standards for water treatment effective 2014, which is a major driving force behind the expansion project.
If the expansion is completed as planned, Danville would be able to pump 12 million gallons of water daily rather than its current capacity of 10 million gallons.