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Mountain Green Sewer Improvement District gets $1 million grant for wastewater system upgrade

Mar 21, 2024 11:29AM ● By Linda Petersen

On behalf of the Mountain Green Sewer Improvement District, Morgan County has received $1 million in an American Rescue Plan Act economic opportunity grant toward the cost of significantly upgrading the wastewater treatment plant. The funds are being administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. The project is expected to cost close to $14 million.

The current facility is a conventional lagoon system plant and must be upgraded to comply with phosphorus discharge caps enacted by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. The plant currently serves approximately one-third of Morgan County residents. 

While looking at an upgrade, plant officials have also determined it makes sense to have one regionalized sewer treatment facility rather than several smaller facilities given the growth and expected development in western Morgan County. The plant will also be expanding its collection system to connect with multiple other systems. The current plant capacity is 1,800 Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs). After the upgrade, the capacity will increase to 4,615 ERUs.

“This has been a long process: a year in the making,” County Commissioner Jared Anderon told fellow commission members at their March 12  meeting where they voted to sign the contract with The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity on behalf of the district. GOEO completed a two-round approval process where they first met with sewer and water districts and then met with county and city officials in their jurisdiction before issuing grants, Anderson said.

“Part of this contract actually includes the phases and work that's being done on the Mountain Green sewer improvement district project and has all the monies that are being spent on that project,” he said.

The grant requires $1 million in matching funds which will come from the improvement district. The contract “indicates that if we don't match the full million then we just return that money back to the state,” said Morgan County Attorney Garrett Smith who wanted it made clear that the county “isn’t on the hook.”

“The only reason for that is because Morgan County is the name on the contract and so ultimately we're on the hook,” Smith said. “So It’s nice to just have all our ducks in a row.”

“I think the district has already spent a few million which would qualify as matching,” Anderson said in response.

It is a condition of the grant that it be passed through the county for the sewer district’s use, Anderson said. “My understanding is … these funds have to go through a local entity, a city or a county, but can be used by public districts.”

The contract was approved by the commission with the condition that Mountain Green Sewer Improvement District enter into an interlocal agreement with the county indicating that it would provide in advance or reimburse the funds to meet the grant.

The remaining funds for the upgraded plant are coming from will come from loans from the Department of Water Quality and Community Impact Fund Board loans. The sewer district has indicated that it does not intend to increase rates but has formed a Fee Advisory Working Group made up of f District board members and professional engineers to assess “a fair and reasonable approach to all fees,” according to a post on its website. λ

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