Saco Water Resource Recovery Project
CITY OF SACO (August 31, 2021) – At the November 2, 2021 election, we will see a $50 million bond question on the ballot to fully upgrade Saco’s Water Resource Recovery Facility on Front Street.
Findings from the Maine Climate Council’s analysis indicate that the cost of doing nothing at Saco’s Water Resource Recovery Facility could be as high as $43 million. Within two feet of the tidally influenced Saco River, the existing wastewater treatment facility is prone to hydraulic back-ups, consists of aging infrastructure built at elevations susceptible to sea level rise, is poorly equipped to meet anticipated regulatory requirements and is struggling to support current community needs. For these reasons and more, over the past three years, Saco’s Water Resource Recovery Department (WRRD) has been studying these impacts and planning for the facility’s long-term health. As part of this planning process, Saco’s Coastal Resiliency Ad-hoc Committee, WRRD, and Communications Department partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate site alternatives, and the site design with the highest benefit-cost ratio was selected.
“Saco’s Water Resource Recovery Facility is integral to our public health, economic vitality, and community livability. At the August 30th meeting, City Council unanimously approved this bond order. Saco will now have the opportunity to vote on this bond question at the November referendum,” said Mayor Doyle.
If approved, the City of Saco will be authorized to issue up to $50 million in general obligation bonds and accept state and federal grants and funding, if available, to construct a complete upgrade of Saco’s Water Resource Recovery Facility, which will include but not be limited to:
- site work to raise and elevate the facility;
- construction and installation of new, renovated, and/or upgraded wastewater treatment processes, structures, and necessary items in support of wastewater treatment and related municipal operations;
- expansion of overall wastewater treatment capacity;
- reclamation of green space for community use;
- incorporation of public amenities; and
- associated site improvements
Interest rates are anticipated to be 1%, a historic low, and the City of Saco will pursue Clean Water State Revolving Funds for this project. Additionally, the City of Saco is actively pursuing state and federal funding opportunities through grants, principal loan forgiveness, and congressionally directed spending requests.
To learn more about this project, please visit the WRRD’s webpage at: www.sacomaine.org/WRRD. The Saco Water Resource Recovery Department can also be reached at 207-282-3564.