The following is the last in a series of messages from Mayor Chris McBarnes regarding the administration’s vision for addressing opportunities and challenges on the community’s horizon.
In addition to a new police station and Prairie Creek Park, both topics covered in my third and fourth mayoral messages within this series, the third project needed for Frankfort’s future success is the enhancement of our wastewater treatment plant.
The utilities project is another animal entirely from the funding we can do for a new police station and Prairie Creek Park. This project would be accomplished through utility rate dollars. In other words, the rates we pay through our monthly utility bills, particularly the sewer rate portion of those bills.
Here’s some brief background: the average daily flow to our wastewater plant is three million gallons of discharge per day. Our current plant capacity is designed for 4.6 million gallons of discharge per day. Obviously, with these numbers, we are on the downhill side of our plant’s capacity. The proposed expansion for the plant would bring us up to nine million gallons of discharge per day.
While this is not a flashy topic, it is a very necessary topic we need to address to ensure Frankfort remains open for business. We must stay ahead of the curb, especially because Frankfort is the city that feeds the state that feeds the world, given our many food-related producers in our Industrial Park.
By the nature of their business, food processors bring with them a high degree of wastewater discharge. This reality is another reason we need to build a plant for the future needs of our community including helping to create new jobs and preparing for new housing.
Frankfort’s current sewer rate is $31.72 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge. Frankfort competes for jobs most often with Lebanon, Lafayette and West Lafayette. Here is a look at those communities’ current sewer rates. Lebanon is $54.35 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge, Lafayette is $42.50 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge and West Lafayette is $40.32 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge.
Our proposed plant expansion will essentially double our daily plant capacity to nine million gallons per day along with updating a lift station at County Road 200 to give us the strategic ability to grow our Industrial Park.
This is how we effectively compete for jobs and how Frankfort comes out ahead of our competitors.
We look forward to working with our city councilors and Utility Service Board members and perhaps even a partnership with Clinton County to accomplish this much needed mission.