Commissioners also contracted with National Water Services for the Valley Springs Wellfield refurbishment for $2.2 million, and the North Wellfield refurbishment for just under $2 million. Bids for those projects were awarded earlier this year.
All contracts approved Thursday are related to ensuring the county has the transmission mains and the booster station capacity to pump water into areas that are currently buying water from Dayton, on the west side of the county near Kettering and Centerville.
“It’s much cheaper for us to produce it than to buy it from them,” said Greene County Sanitary Engineering Director Jason Tincu.
Originally the Greene Forward campaign was estimated to cost $110 million, with $55 million each for water and sewer projects. With recent inflation, water projects alone are now projected at $75 million, Tincu said.
That difference is partially made up for by a water rate change approved in May. Greene County increased water rates by 3%, and lowered sewer rates by 2.25%, costs that are locked in for 2023.
Current finance models show that those rates don’t need to change, Tincu said, adding that the county is positioned to save some money once the projects are completed. However, rates for 2024 and 2025 are still to be determined.
“Water and sewer customers are going to see no net increase, you’re gonna have softened water in 2024, and then everybody’s going have new meter infrastructure,” Tincu said. “.”You should be able to access your meter and check things out, so higher level of service for the same money,” he said.
Construction began on a $46 million expansion to Greene County’s Northwest Regional Water Treatment Plant in July. It will expand capacity from 9.5 million to 12 million gallons per day, and push softer water to Greene County water customers. Those upgrades are on schedule to be completed in 2024, county officials said.