RBC Building Upgrade Project
On August 22, 2022, authorization was granted by Council to apply for funding from the Department of Ecology (DOE) Water Quality Combined funding program for a low interest loan for the RBC Building Upgrade Project. The project would remodel an unused RBC building at the Wastewater Treatment Plan (WWTP) to install bulk chemical storage and the related systems to inject alum and sodium hydroxide into the waste stream for chemical polishing of the effluent prior to discharge to the White River. This is in anticipation of a lowered phosphorus discharge limit for the WWTP that will be imposed as a result of the Total Maximum Daily Loading rule that is in the process of being promulgated by the state Department of Ecology. In June 2023 the City was notified that the project was selected for an award of $1,800,000.
In September 2023 staff asked DOE if the funding could be expanded to include remodeling the north half of the City’s 2nd RBC building for a future additional sludge dewatering device, such as a centrifuge. The 2nd RBC building remodel had not been included in the original application on the premise the project would score better without it being part of the scope. DOE has agreed to modify the scope and increase the loan to $2,500,000.
From 2023 through 2026, a total of $1.4M in annual debt service that the City has been paying on the WWTP upgrade completed in 2009 will be fully retired. The reduction in debt service will exceed the new debt service that the City is adding in 2025, including this project. The interest rate for the DOE loan is 1.2% for a 20-year term with no local cost share requirement.
The schedule for completing the project depends on whether delays due to permitting and material supply issues can be kept to a minimum. Ideally the project would be finished in the fall of 2025. Large projects such as the RBC Building Upgrade Project require outside financing to spread out the cost impact.
On January 22, 2024, the City will hold a hearing at the City Council meeting on January 22 to discuss the DOE project/agreement publicly and take comments. Comments may also be submitted to Scott Woodbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 253-261-1937.