Water plant groundbreaking

By: 
Becky Killian

Mayor Troy Merry speaks at the water plant groundbreaking.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last Monday for a $15.2 million water plant, which will replace Salem's 50-year-old facility.

Salem Mayor Troy Merry credited a partnership that consolidated ideas gleaned from many “brilliant minds” for the project, which will update the city’s 51-year-old Lake John Hay Water Treatment Plant.

Salem Common Council President Justin Green said the project will increase the plant’s capacity, quality, and reliability – which will help spur economic development, housing, and business development.

The entire project cost is $15.2 million. Merry said the city refinanced $1.9 million and received a two percent 40-year-loan from the United States Department of Agri- culture to pay for the work.

Merry thanked the water utility’s customers for under- standing the need to imple- ment a rate increase to help pay for the project. Water customers saw their monthly bills increase from about $12 to $19, with Merry noting that amount is still far below that of other communities.

The plant is designed to pump 3 million gallons of water a day to more than 17,000 customers, Green said.

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