The Sarpy County Wastewater Agency announced it will build a permanent wastewater treatment plant south of Springfield.
No exact location has been determined for the plant and there is no timetable on when construction would begin.
Megan Stubenhofer-Barrett, Sarpy County communications manager, said that a final location would be determined within three months. She added the plant would likely be operational “in the next three to five years.”
Sarpy County Commissioner Don Kelly, who serves as chairman for the Wastewater Agency, said building a permanent location was the best long-term plan.
“It made a lot of sense to come up with an engineering solution that moved the wastewater to its eventual end location, rather than building temporary treatment sites along the way,” Kelly said.
The plant will enable future development in southern Sarpy County as it treats wastewater from Buffalo Creek, Springfield Creek and Zwiebel Creek basins.
Building the treatment plant, which is the first phase of the project, is expected to cost $40 million. The entire system will be built in phases over the next 20 to 50 years and the estimated cost of the entire project is $220 million.
During a Sept. 25. meeting the agency board unanimously approved an interlocal agreement for putting Omaha Public Power District PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) funds toward the project.
The agreement is still waiting approval from city councils in Bellevue, Gretna, Papillion, La Vista and Springfield.
“By using PILOT funds, we’re able to close any initial projected revenue shortfalls associated with the cost of building the sewer. It’s an innovative approach to paying for the system, and it’s taken months of collaboration to build this agreement,” Kelly said. “We were all committed to find a revenue source that didn’t come from the taxpayers, and this agreement gives us that funding.”
As part of the agreement, the county and cities will contribute a portion of their OPPD PILOT funds generated from new growth to the project.
Along with PILOT funds, the project will be paid for with user and connection fees from development in southern Sarpy County.