May 4, 2011 10:42:00 AM
CALEDONIA -- The Town of Caledonia continued to work towards improving its water and sewer system at Tuesday night''s monthly meeting, moving forward with a $1.6 million multi-phase plan to run a pipe from the water treatment plant to the Buttahatchie River in order to meet environmental standards.
Three years ago, the Department of Environmental Quality told the town they would have to have a more rigorous permit to allow for the discharge of treated wastewater. Caledonia had been discharging treated wastewater into a lagoon, but they''ve outgrown the location over the years.
In May 2003, the town was billing 1,615 customers, but in July 2010, usage had increased to 1,935 customers.
Originally, DEQ had estimated $3 million in revisions, but then turned around and reversed their original statements, saying the issue was not as dire as they initially thought.
An alternative route for the pipe would have discharged into Burton Creek, but the board decided on the Buttahatchie location in order to avoid having to treat it for ammonia since the price of either route would have been the same.
The discharge point will be at the Lawrence Bridge.
The board concluded by authorizing town engineer Stanley Spradling to move forward with the application process as it has to be submitted to DEQ by September.
"This will allow Caledonia to serve the future needs of the customers for the next 20 years," said town attorney Jeff Smith.
Spradling also praised the board of aldermen for the performance of the new $4 million water treatment facility, saying the generator system worked perfectly during last week''s storms, with customers experiencing no outages or problems.
In a separate issue, the board moved forward with plans to extend sewer service to customers and acquire utility easements along Cal-Kalola Road. After much discussion, no action was taken.
In other news, the town delayed naming a chairperson for the eight annual Caledonia Day, slated for Oct. 15 this year. The event is a homecoming of sorts, designed to encourage former residents to return to Caledonia and welcome newcomers to experience the charms of small town life.
Several aldermen were asked to head the planning committee, but due to work constraints, most said they were unable to participate. Local residents are asked to contact the board if they are interested in participating.
The town also voted to spray for mosquitoes this year, citing the recent heavy rainfall and anticipating a need once more this summer and voted to purchase a Ford F-150 for the water department at the state contract price of $19,159.
Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.