Terre Haute to take city’s sludge

Wastewater treatment center

Wastewater treatment center

The City of Princeton Wastewater Treatment Plant Tuesday afternoon.



Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:38 pm

Terre Haute to take city’s sludge

ANDREA HOWE
Editor, The Daily Clarion

Tri-State Media

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PRINCETON—The city’s outdated sewer sludge treatment facility will get a break, and so will neighbors of the facility.

Princeton’s Board of Public Works and Safety approved a contract with the City of Terre Haute to have about 191,000 gallons of sludge hauled by tanker up U.S. 41 each week.

The board unanimously approved the agreement after reviewing a cost analysis comparing the expenses related to treating the material in Princeton with the cost of having it hauled to Terre Haute.

The report says Princeton spends roughly $262,000 per year to treat, store and dispose of roughly 4.7 million gallons of sludge. 

Terre Haute will charge the city 6 cents per gallon of sludge to send a tanker to town three times a week and haul the sludge to a new biofuels facility under development in Vigo County. 

That’s about $284,700 per year, slightly more than handling the sludge in Princeton  — but engineers reported that Princeton needs to invest about $1 million in upgrades to its facility if the sludge is treated here.

If the city doesn’t treat its own sludge, two large storage buildings are freed up for other uses — and a chronic odor problem is reduced, according to sewer department supervisor Charles Woodruff.

Terre Haute takes sludge from six or seven other Indiana communities, planning to use it for biofuel development.

“I think it’s a unique opportunity,” he told the board of works. “Our facility is getting worse because of the age of our equipment,” he said. 

The agreement with Terre Haute automatically renews every five years. Princeton gets a two-year period to make alternative plans if Terre Haute opts out.

In other business at Tuesday night’s session, the board of works:

• Agreed to take part in a marketing video project at no cost to the city.

• Authorized Wessler Engineering to provide design services for a new water line at the Gibson County Fairgrounds, approved a $49,290 pay request from ARC Construction for the downtown facades program and $1,667 to ARC for the bicentennial plaza.

•Confirmed a Teamsters Local 215 contract for about 33 city employees that includes a 48 cent hourly pay increase and monthly health insurance premium of $316 per employee paid by the city. The hourly employees covered by the contract pay $1 per year for their health insurance benefits.

Hurst said the contract covers city workers outside the police and fire departments, but excludes elected officials and appointed department heads.

• During Tuesday’s Princeton Common Council meeting, members adopted a resolution transferring $135,714 from the fire department operating fund to the equipment fund.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:38 pm.

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