Override helps Union-Rome Sewer District

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The mood these days at Lawrence County Commission meetings is bleak, with a lot of serious debate about money shortages.

But there was one bright spot in Thursday’s session, compliments of the U.S. Senate.

The Senate voted 79-14 to override President Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act that contains $5 million for the new Union-Rome Sewer District.

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“We’re fortunate to be part of that,” Commissioner Doug Malone said. “This is the first time they’ve overridden one of the president’s vetoes. This was an outstanding vote.”

Sen. George Voinovich’s office sent a fax to local officials shortly after the veto override vote, prompting a little celebration.

“We’ve happy, very happy,” sewer district administrator Tim Porter said. “This is $5 million dollars.

Construction on the $23.8 million plant has already begun and should be completed within two years. That $5 will cut down on the amount of money the sewer district has to borrow from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to pay for the project.

This new plant will be the first membrane bioreactor sewer plant along the Ohio River. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has mandated the county build a new sewer plant since the existing one does not meet newer effluent standards. The existing one is also not large enough to accommodate continued growth in that end of the county.