Vidalia’s new water plant will double the town’s capacity, according to Doug Wimberly with Neel-Schaffer Engineering.
Wimberly reviewed the plant’s final design specifications with Town Council members at their regular meeting Tuesday evening. Neel-Schaffer Engineering of Jackson was tasked with creating the design.
The current 70-year-old plant produces 750 to 800 gallons of water per minute. When all components are installed, the new plant will be capable of producing approximately 2,000 gallons per minute.
“This will give you extra capacity if you have some industries looking at you and needs that extra water volume,” Wimberly said.
A new clarifier, filter and ion exchange system will be installed while relocating chlorine filters, according to Wimberly. Engineers also included upgraded security to the plant with new fencing and lockable gates.
“You will basically have a brand new plant when it is up and running,” Wimberly. “We’re also replacing major electric switch gears and (installing) a new generator.”
Estimated cost is $8.95 million with construction time taking approximately 12 - 18 months depending on current supply issues, Wimberly said.
Vidalia will possibly bankroll the plant’s construction using $9 million in capital outlay funds which are currently listed as priority 5.
“I want to talk to facility planning in Baton Rouge to see about pushing that and getting it put in priority 1, so we can go ahead and get this built,” said Mayor Buz Craft. “Use our other money for broadband and things of that nature.”
The capital outlay list is divided into five priorities, which determine the order in which the non-cash projects will receive funding when it becomes available.
Priority 1 is limited to the reauthorization of prior year lines of credit. Legislators cannot add anything to priority 1.
Plans will now be sent to Department of Health and Hospitals for review and approval before bid can be let.
“This will put you in good shape for another 70 years,” Wimberly said. “This is going to be fantastic water.”
Craft said town officials were looking ahead in water plant improvements.
“We want to set this up for our kids and grandkids and generations to come,” Craft said.
Additionally, Town Council members approved occupation license applications and a liquor and beer permit to S&R Mehta LLC at 605 Carter Street.
Also, the group approved the Vidalia Police Department to hire William Gable as a full-time patrolman.
Meanwhile, Cassandra Lynch informed Town Council members Vidalia’s annual Mardi Gras parade will be Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.
Floats, ATVs, side-by-sides and horses are all welcome to participate.
“We’re going to try to have something extra nice this year,” Lynch said.