The first portion of funding for the Alvordton sewer project has been secured, the Williams County Engineer’s Office announced Thursday.

Following the same initial route as its counterpart project in Kunkle, the Alvordton project has received $920,000 in federal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The grant dollars were awarded with the understanding of a 75-25 matching arrangement, with Williams County paying $332,000. Williams County Commissioners agreed to it on Thursday during their weekly meeting.

The county’s portion will be paid via its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) revolving loan fund.

The engineer’s office hopes securing funds early will serve as a springboard for the rest of the project.

“It’s the same process as Knuckle,” said Cody Frey from the engineer’s office. “So we’ll use this to get the design going and have a shovel-ready project to pursue more funding.”

Total estimated cost of the Alvordton project is approximately $4 million, according to Williams County Engineer Todd Roth.

Need for the dual projects in the towns, just miles apart, arose in the summer of 2015.

Household sewage had been discharged into tributaries of the Mill Creek, creating unsanitary conditions and a public health nuisance, as determined by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The agency issued a mandate that the county develop a plan and construct a treatment system for household waste from both Alvordton and Kunkle.

At first, a possible solution of a single sewage treatment facility for both communities was discussed, at an estimated cost between $8 million and $10 million. However, cost proved to be an obstacle to securing grant funding.

In August 2019, commissioners elected to build separate systems for each community, beginning with Kunkle.

Kunkle’s project, estimated by Roth to also eventually cost around $4 million, has thus far largely been funded via Ohio’s H2Ohio program, with a $1 million grant from the Army Corps of Engineers and $1.38 million via a no-interest loan from the Ohio EPA.

Currently, the engineer’s office is pursuing CDBG funds, plus grants through the Ohio Water Development Authority, to further supplement efforts in Kunkle. Similar avenues are expected to be pursued for the Alvordton project.

On Thursday, Roth indicated plans for the Kunkle project will be submitted to the EPA by the end of the month, and that the project must be put out to bid by the end of August, per funding requirements.

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