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City Plan Commission Approves Amendments to TIF #1

July 8, 2011

07/11/11 The Plymouth Plan Commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution by the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission amending the Economic Development Plan for the US 30/Oak Road Economic Development Area (TIF #1)

Plans are to expand the water plant at the Pine Treatment Plant.

Utilities Director Donnie Davidson presented the matter for consideration before the Commission Tuesday night. He had previously gained support from both the Plymouth Board of Public Works and the Redevelopment Commission.

Mayor Mark Senter set the tone for the presentation saying, “Tax Incremental Finance zones were established to assist the building of infrastructure in a particular area. This current resolution that is before you (Pine Road Water Plant Expansion project) will be assisting the entire city.” Senter said, “The two wells, well houses and pressure filters, etc. will be sending the city in the right direction when it comes to future growth and expansion while simultaneously solving some of the water problems that we have today.”

He then asked the commission members to pass the resolution.

Senter also acknowledged several of those who have been working on the project including City Attorney Nelson Chipman, Clerk-Treasurer Toni Hutchings, Deputy Clerk Jeanine Xaver, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Yeazel (Water Department) and Davison.

Davison explained that the Ledyard Water plant needs major overhauling, but that he is hesitant to begin the project at that site until there is adequate backup at the city’s second site.

When the Pine Road Water Plant was designed, accommodations for expansion were included such as plumbing for new infrastructure that would include two wells, pressure filters and pumps. The estimated cost is $1,446,500 for both construction and non-construction costs.

It was noted during the Redevelopment meeting last month that during the last year and a half the city has implemented rate increases equaling 20 percent to cover operating costs.  To cover the improvements to the Pine Road plant would require an additional over 18 percent increase in water rates to each and every customer if the utility department had to take care of the project themselves.

Davidson said they have 3,750 connections at this time. He said, “The big impact would be to manufacturers and the hospital.

Davidson’s power point presentation that listed some of the following information:

The Ledyard plant was built in 1968 with an expansion in 1979 which doubled production.  The plant has 3 wells, two of which were drilled in 1954 and the final one in 1979.

The Pine Road plant was completed in 2000 with one well that was placed in 1999 at 173 feet deep.

The city had two water towers.  The west tower off PIDCO was built in 1979 and the north tower behind KFC was built in 1991.  Each one is 140 feet tall, has a tank diameter of 65 feet and a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons.  Both are in very good condition.

The City’s distribution system contains 69.5 miles of water mains ranging from 3 inches up to 16 inches.

Davidson said at the close of his presentation, “This is a lucky community.  Our redundancy is getting to a comfortable level.  We have redundancy in our plants and system with looping the system to feed from multiple locations.”  He estimated that 80% of the city’s distribution system is looped.

The project could take up to nine months to complete.

Davidson has said, “We are not to the desperate stage, but we are looking to the future.”

Davison said it is extremely risky to overhaul the Ledyard plant first since the construction work would have to be done in low-demand months (winter) and that the cost would increase. He said work at the Pine Road Treatment Plant can be accomplished during the high demand months in the summer and, thus, lower the costs.

At this point, the matter will need to be voted upon by the City Council and then, if passed, be sent back to redevelopment for a public hearing.