(10/03/13) - A new plant is designed to provide drinking water to parts of
Mid-Michigan for the next 40 years.
Community leaders broke ground, Thursday, for the Bay Area Water Treatment Plant on Euclid Road in Bangor Township.
That project will also bring hundreds of jobs to Mid-Michigan.
ABC12 has learned that construction of the new plant will keep about 500 workers busy.
"The spin off of that is definitely and asset for our region because those construction workers do spend their money right here at home and most of those workers are going to be right here in the Great Lakes Bay Region," said Herb Spence, CEO of Spence Brothers.
Thursday marked the latest step in a process that took nearly a decade of planning.
Community leaders took their turn with the shovels before turning the job site over to the professionals.
When the plant goes online, it will provide water to more than a dozen communities and five other water districts. It will draw water from Lake Huron near AuGres.
The plant will go up next to the existing Bay City Municipal Water Treatment Plant in Bangor Township. It will cover more than 40,000 square feet, and will include raw and finished water pumping.
The projected cost more than $59 million, to be financed through bond sales.
Community leaders say this is a big deal for the area.
"What this means for the area is a high-quality water supply for the next 40 years and beyond. It means when sometimes I get a little taste or odor problem in the summertime when the water is hot, because we currently draw water out of the Inner Saginaw Bay, that I'm going to have a better quality water," said Tom Paige, Dir., Bay Co. Dept. of Water & Sewer.
Paige says customers will see about a 15 percent increase in their water rates. Most of the customers could see that increase by the end of this year.
"When we looked at all of the various options for what we could do to supply water for the next 40 years, this was the option that has the lowest annual revenue requirement," he said.
The plant is expected to be in operation by June of 2015.
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