By Hannah Hale; Idaho Free County Press
KOOSKIA — During a meeting on Oct. 12, the Kooskia City Council discussed the sewer project and the water facility plan, both set to improve these municipal systems. Michelle Bly from TD & H Engineering spoke to the council and provided insight into the legalities of the sewer projects.
The first topic discussed was the sewer project. The engineering and developing portion of this project, headed by Mountain WW, has created a “blueprint” of what needs to be done to the sewer system to keep it functional. There is about 3,200 feet of sewer line that needs to be fixed. After being submitted to Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which is the state agency that looks over these plans and make sure there aren’t any problems, the council has to wait about 42 days for DEQ to process the plans. According to Carlos Martinez, public works superintendent, it should only be another week or two before there’s a response from DEQ.
“The problem is if there are any revisions that need to be made, we have to reapply to DEQ and wait another 42 days,” said Martinez.
As for being able to pay for this project, the council submitted for a grant two months ago, but there were some funding problems. There is a 2023 funding application that could get them enough money to complete the sewer project, which has been two years in the making.
“There’s a new clause with commerce, you have to be complete with your projects before you can apply for another grant,” Bly mentioned to the council, letting them know that they have to finish or be nearly completed with their projects before they can start new ones.
Bly requested a public hearing be scheduled for next month to discuss these projects more, and the council passed that motion.
For the water facility plan, the council was tasked with deciding to start the blueprint process, and if they were going to allow $100,000 to be budgeted for this project. The water facility plan is a project to fix the entire water system of Kooskia. Experts will take a look at the water system, and then make a 20-year plan of what should be done to fix and keep the system in working order. The same 20-year plan was started for the sewer system two years ago.
“It’s a total holistic approach to the whole system,” said Martinez.
Martinez explained to the council that a grant would only pay for about 50% of the costs, and the rest would have to be self-funded. “I say that we just bite the bullet, and self-fund this. There’s a chance that we could miss the funding.” Last year, the council budgeted about $100,000 for this plan, so as Martinez said, “The money is there.”
The council passed the use of the $100,000 for the water facility plan.
To learn more about these projects, contact Kooskia City Hall at 208-926-4684.
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