On Monday evening the Plymouth Common Council conducted a public hearing on the Water Utility Improvement Project.

Shannon McLeod from Priority Project Resources presented an update for the proposed Waterworks Utility Project. She reminded council members of her appearance with Utility Superintendent Donny Davidson two months ago. 

The City will apply for a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) in the amount of $700,000 to help fund the work.

This public hearing was part of the application process and detailed the four main elements of the project. The first element will abandon the existing 4” water main on Jefferson Street and replace it with a 12” water main that’s approximately 2,880 linear feet.  Davidson said, “The 12-inch replacement of Jefferson Street helps add better circulation throughout that entire east side and improves the fire protection.  We also have some undesirable material in a couple of blocks that we want to remove and that will improve the water quality.”    

The next element is installing a 12” water main and a 6” water main to loop the city’s water system near Gilmore Street and the Yellow River crossing.  The project is replacing a water main that is from the early 1920s and lays on the river bed, not buried and is now exposed.

The next element includes installing 470 linear feet of a new water main that will loop the water system along Plum Street.

The final project rehabilitates the existing 1-million-gallon water storage tank on PIDCO including sandblasting, interior and exterior painting, and other structural work as needed along with regular routine maintenance.

The proposed project budget is $2,492,000. The OCRA grant, if awarded, will provide $700,000 toward the project and the remaining balance of $1,792,270 will be funded with cash on hand in the Water Depreciation Fund. The project should be completed without borrowing any funds.

The timetable includes a December 2023 application submission and an early February grant award.  The design work would be completed in the spring of 2024 and bid on the work in the summer of 2024 or early fall when contractors know how their schedules are and might help get a more competitive bid.  Construction could begin shortly after and should take 4 to 6 months to complete.  Substantial completion is expected to be in December 2024.