Auburn seeks federal funds to upgrade wastewater treatment plant

By Chris Cooper -

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) is considering a request for federal assistance from the City of Auburn to construct a new wastewater treatment plant upgrade in Auburn. If obtained, this will be the second of two awarded to the city for this project. In late 2015, Auburn was given a commitment by the state for a $1.5 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). If awarded, this recent federal acquisition would garnish the city another $1.5 million.

Early in 2015 the city received a $300,000 grant to go with its $700,000 low interest loan from U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. These funds were used to bring a high pressure wastewater line from the plant to Champion Petfoods, as well as put in a lift station.

Applications for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade are due to Champion Petfoods becoming Auburn’s newest neighbor. The state of the art kitchen was annexed into the city who will be treating its wastewater.

“The City of Auburn started the process of trying to find grant monies to complete this project immediately after finding out Champion Petfoods said they were coming,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes.

The upgrade will double the city’s capacity and allow for future economic growth. Champion Petfoods has said they most likely will expand operations eventually, which will also expand the need for additional treatment capabilities.

The city has already begun the engineering phase of the expansion. Mike McGhee out of Guthrie will serve as project engineer. The city is now working on the facilities plan.

“This upgrade will take us into the future by a couple of decades at least,” said Hughes. “It is great for our community.”

Hughes admitted the city’s wastewater treatment plant would had to have had an upgrade in a couple of years anyway. The newest part of the current treatment plant was built in 1990.

The project site is not yet addressed, however, the project will be located on Maple Street in Auburn in proximity to the existing wastewater treatment plant.

By Chris Cooper

To contact Chris Cooper, email or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email or call 270-726-8394.

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