THE BATH CITY COUNCIL met on Wednesday evening to discuss a variety of topics, including Mayor Bill Giroux’s proposal for a facilities committee and a motion to apply for $8.5 million in loan and grant money for improvements in Bath’s wastewater infrastructure.

THE BATH CITY COUNCIL met on Wednesday evening to discuss a variety of topics, including Mayor Bill Giroux’s proposal for a facilities committee and a motion to apply for $8.5 million in loan and grant money for improvements in Bath’s wastewater infrastructure.

BATH

The Bath City Council on Wednesday unanimously supported a motion to apply for $8.5 million in loans and grants to upgrade the city’s wastewater system.

The money would come from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development sector.

A $9.8 million wastewater infrastructure bond was passed by the council in November 2015, and Bath Public Works Director Peter Owen said that around $1.3 million of that sum has been obtained and used in the construction of a new pump station on Bridge Street.

The city is looking to spend the remainder of the bond or grant money at the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Town Landing Road, but first needs to secure the money through an application.

“We need some very expensive equipment down there,” said Owen.

Some of the equipment needed includes a $3 million dewatering system, defusers and 12 combined sewer projects that Owen said will be implemented throughout Bath in the next five years.

Owen said that Bath is using Rural Development because they offer a grant program, and that it is possible the city will receive $1 million in grants to help leverage the bond money. Owen said the city will not know the percentage of the grant funds they will receive until the application has been processed.

Facilities committee

Also on Wednesday, Mayor Bill Giroux broached the idea of a facilities committee.

Though Giroux is still drafting a mission statement to be voted upon by the council in May, he said that the committee would be in charge of reviewing and up-keeping rundown, city-owned structures around Bath and would include council members.

“I’ve been looking at the buildings and parks around Bath, and many are aging,” said Giroux. “It’s time for the city and our staff to look for a master plan to change this so we don’t run into a situation where we’re trying to fix all of the buildings in a five year span.”

Giroux said that the committee would theoretically consist of himself, various facility operators and 3-5 council members.

Giroux said that this would be a long term committee that would analyze properties as it sees fit, lay out long term improvement plans and determine when and how those improvements might be done.

“What I want to avoid is waiting until these buildings are crumbling,” said Giroux. “We’re already seeing some that need work every year.”

Giroux declined to mention any specific structures that needed work, but did say that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of the master study that was done at the Bath Wastewater Treatment Plant a few years ago which has led to a list of needed improvements for the facility.

Councilor Sean Paulhus said that he thinks a facilities committee is “a good idea.”

“I’m surprised we don’t have a committee like this already,” said Paulhus.

Giroux said that he will bring the facilities committee mission statement to May’s council meeting and that it would be likely that the council will “be voting on and possibly be creating the committee at that time.”

“I think there are opportunities in the future, and there are needs, and I trust that a council committee with the proper staff could wade through the issues and guide the improvement or non-improvement of those needs,” said Giroux.

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