MILLEDGEVILLE — The City of Milledgeville treats Baldwin County wastewater. County consulting engineer Tim Ingram said the arrangement is at least 40 years old.
Over the past few years, the county paid the city about $250,000 per year for sewer collection, according to Ingram.
The city laid out a recent proposal bumping the treatment price per 1,000 gallons from $4.95 to $5.88, which would run the county cost up more than $600,000 at the current water usage levels.
Issues with low-income sewer customers on the county’s south side worry County Manager McMullen.
To collect the $5.88 compared to what current county charges taking maintenance into the discussion, the county manager said customers would pay between $8 and $9 per 1,000 gallons.
“That would terribly affect the lower income population on the south side,” McMullen said Tuesday.
Baldwin County Commissioners discussed feasibility of a county wastewater treatment facility during Tuesday’s work session. Ingram said the study itself would take one year and cost upward of $25,000.
If the county decides building a treatment plant is the best action, the facility could either be land application or point discharge.
Land application sprays or drips the water underground with the soil finishing treatment.
Analyzing construction and maintenance price as well as staffing requirements all work into any future decision.
Ingram called building a wastewater treatment plant a “50-year decision.”
A mechanical plant could take 18 months to build and cost $600,000 including yearly debt service.
Considering development costs of a county facility, Commissioner Sammy Hall, District 3, said negotiating for a lower city rate is a smarter choice.
McMullen said staff would submit the city a second proposal this week.
Hall mentioned service consolidation during the wastewater talk.
“It seems to me that what we really need in Baldwin County is a joint city and county water sewer authority,” Hall said.
Though the county raised water rates July 1, the city claims no revenue increase on their end yet, according to Hall.
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