Too much sludge buildup in Hillsboro’s wastewater lagoon is likely to lead to work being done, but city council members Tuesday decided to monitor the situation before undertaking an expensive project.
Alan Luttrell, with EBH Engineering, talked to council members and said baffles and an aeration system could be added to correct the problem.
The sludge layer is 18 inches deep, he said. If the lagoon were aerated, the sludge would be reduced within six years, Luttrell said.
Barkman Honey contributes 40% of the contents of the lagoon, and city administrator Matt Stiles said he has been talking with the honey processor about sharing the cost of work at the lagoon.
“Within our ordinances, we have the ability to compel people to make improvements,” Stiles said.
Byron McCarty said the company that originally built the lagoon promised to add baffles and an aeration system, but left town before adding them.
American Rescue Act funding
Stiles told council members the city will get $394,000 of American Rescue Plan Act money next week, with a second, equal payment in a year.
He said he wants to get a better understanding of regulations about spending the money before using any of it.
“We want to make sure everybody knows we’re trying to be transparent, we’re trying to do the best thing with it,” he said. “We’re going to stick it in a fund and hang onto it.”
New electric feed
Council members voted unanimously to spend $40,000 to $60,000 to add a secondary Evergy feed to the substation serving Hillsboro.
Adding the secondary feed would ensure uninterrupted flow of power in times of emergency, Stiles said.
Stiles told council members that if city crews do part of the work, the project will cost less.
It is still unclear when the project will begin, Stiles said in his report to the council.