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Cairo sewer plant construction nears completion

Construction is nearly completed for Cairo’s new sewer plant. (Photo by Candice Black)

CAIRO — A new sewer plant is nearly finished in Cairo.

According to Cairo Mayor Gary Haugh, the process of obtaining funding for the project began around seven years ago. Earlier this year, grants from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Community Block Grant program totaling $2.5 million were awarded to the town.

Haugh said there has been a need for a new plant for the past several years. The old plant was rusting from the inside out, Haugh said.

“With all of the people in town, we have to have a sewer plant,” Haugh said. “We don’t have enough people here to buy a new one ourselves.” The project is completely funded by grants.

Breckenridge Corp. of Buckhannon, W.Va., is the contractor on the Ritchie County plant.

A meeting was held Wednesday morning where contractors, members of the Department of Environmental Protection, representatives of the Mid Ohio Valley Regional Council and members of the Cairo sewer board discussed the status of the project. According to the contractors, the project is 65-70 percent completed.

Allocation of the remaining project funds was discussed during the meeting. A decision was deferred until completion of the project.

New vacuum equipment and pouring concrete for the maintenance building were among options that were discussed.

“We have our wish list, but everything is on hold,” Haugh said.

Haugh said over the course of the project, which broke ground in July, customers won’t be able to tell work is being done. Shutdowns will not be necessary as the old plant will transition to the new plant when the project is finished.

According to Wayne Hypes from Dunn Engineering, the transition between the old and new plants will be carefully done to ensure no issues result from harmful bacteria. It is hoped that this will take place before the weather gets cold, he said.

The goal is for the plant to go into service in November. However, setting up electricity for the plant could be a potential setback.

In accordance with the grant, the project has to be completed by the end of May.

Good weather has been helping the timeline, Haugh said.

“We’re staying ahead of schedule,” Haugh said. “As long as the weather holds, it may get done this year.”

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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