Frederick’s Board of Aldermen last night unanimously approved a project to design a new wastewater treatment plant, though funding for the design project has yet to be determined.
The design, which will cost $2.67 million, is part of a $44 million project to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
Upgrades to the plant have already begun, though the project includes several phases and components. City officials today will sign off on a loan to borrow $4 million to pay for an already-approved portion of the project.
The aldermen approved the design portion of the project at a public hearing Thursday night.
The city’s plant must be upgraded by January 2017 to comply with new state and federal standards for cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, according to Stona Cosner, the city’s superintendent of wastewater treatment.
The state will pay for 45 percent — or about $20 million— of the project.
Alderman Carol Krimm (D) asked Frederick’s budget director, Katie Barkdoll, for a breakdown of the projects to which the city has committed the $8 million it has in its water and sewer fund, so that the Aldermen could make better decisions about borrowing for the upgrade or other projects.
“If it’s not committed [to projects], I don’t see why we’re borrowing money,” she said.
Barkdoll,said the city hasn’t begun the process of borrowing money for the design project, adding that officials will explore funding options.