DELAPLAINE, AR - Delaplaine residents can expect an upgrade on the city's sewer system.
The city was recently awarded a $131,000 grant and a $77,000 loan through the United States Department of Agriculture as well as a $80,000 grant through the Arkansas National Resources Commission.
Delaplaine Mayor Larry Myrick said the sewer system is over 25-years-old and repairs are needed at the city's four substations.
Delaplaine shares the sewer system with nearby cities Peach Orchard and O'Keane, with the main plant located in O'Keane.
Myrick said plans are to rebuild the inside of each substation by replacing the current equipment with new motors, pump stations, and stainless steel pieces.
Issues with the sewer system can be especially problematic during long periods of wet weather. Myrick said sewage can sometimes back up in some residential areas.
"The problem is, you don't want your sewage to get out on the ground," Myrick said. "When the sewer is not working right, that's where it goes, and inside ditches and places like that and then you have the smell."
The repairs have been a long time coming, Myrick said the city has been putting bandages on the reoccurring issues with the sewer system over the past five years.
"We've got them better than they have been in the past," Myrick said. "What we've got is not OSHA approved or all that, we've got it where it will work and we've got to get it back in compliance."
That strain not only caused issues with the sewer system itself, Myrick said it created a financial hardship for the city as well.
"I think we spent right at $10,000 last year out of the general fund," Myrick said. "That doesn't come easy anymore, it takes a while to replace it. We had to rebuild a couple of pieces last year and they're pretty high."
With the city getting a loan, the mayor said they plan to pay that back by raising the sewage rates about $5 to $6 more a month.
Myrick said the increase has already been approved through a resolution.
The city hopes to put the work to rebuilt the sewer system up for bid by September.
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