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The Milton City Council approved a $7.9 million sewer bond that would support upgrades to Milton’s sewer system on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The project has been in the works for several years.

MILTON — A bond that would support upgrades to Milton’s sewer system has been approved by the town’s City Council.

The sewer bond is worth $7.9 million and would support a system-wide project to update Milton’s sewer system, which has been in the works for several years. The bond has $5.8 million committed in loan dollars and $2.1 million committed in grant dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Milton City Council met Tuesday evening. There, no council members voted against the ordinance for the sewer bond.

The City Council discussed the sewer bond during last month’s meeting. The vote on the bond was tabled that night following a heated public hearing on the sewer bond where Milton residents lodged complaints about the city’s water system. In the meeting, a few residents said they would like to see the city’s water system fixed before the sewer bond was passed. At last week’s meeting, no residents made public comments about the bond.

According to a city document that lists questions and answers about the bond ordinance from the public hearing, the sewer project “was necessary to address inflow and infiltration (I&I) issues.” Reducing inflow and infiltration would reduce the volume of wastewater Milton sends to Salt Rock Sewer, and in turn reduce the amount the city pays for wastewater treatment.

“The sewer project is crucial to reducing I&I,” said one answer in the document. “Damaged sewer service lines allow stormwater and groundwater to seep/flow into sewer lines. If these problems are not addressed, not only will operational costs rise, but sewage backups become inevitable when it rains, creating public health concerns.”

Corey Smith, of Thrasher Engineering, said Tuesday that bids for the project are expected to go out in the next 90 days. Construction for the sewer project may begin next year. Thrasher is the engineering firm for the project.

McKenna Horsley is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering local government in Huntington and Cabell County. Follow her on Twitter @Mckennahorsley.

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