Steven Miller with Martin & McGill in Asheville recently presented the board with a proposed capital improvement plan for water and sewer needs. The plan includes 20 projects to be completed over a 10-year period. The water projects are estimated to cost $12.4 million and the sewer projects are estimated at $2.6 million.
Miller recommended that the town pay $1 million of the total cost from the water and sewer fund and the remaining $14 million should be financed by four loans.
The most expensive cost would be $8 million for water treatment plant upgrades. The first phase would cost $3.6 million and the second $4.3 million.
Keith Webb with Martin & McGill said the phase one upgrades would bring the plant up to current standards and prepare the plant for future growth and improvements.
In January, Franklin got word it would receive an interest-free loan of $3.5 million from the state to rehabilitate its plant.
“This will allow the plant to start upgrading to move forward in the future so it lasts another 50 years,” Webb said.
The town applied for the state loan last September. Webb said the state asked that the town update its preliminary engineering report for the plant and complete an environmental review by May 1. He said he didn’t anticipate any changes or any environmental impact since all the upgrades will be on the existing water plant site.
He said Martin & McGill will get the updated report to the state by March 31 and should get approval by July. If everything goes as planned, construction on the plant could start in March 2016.
There was no discussion and the board didn’t take any action on the proposed plan. Mayor Bob Scott said there would be a chance for public comment at the board’s next meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, March 2, at town hall.