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Council hears update about sewer project

IRONTON — It could be said that Thursday night’s Ironton City Council meeting went down the drain — and into the sewers.

The council got an update about the city’s ongoing sewer rehabilitation project from engineer Doug Cade of E.L. Robinson engineering.

The project involves covering the pipes of the sewer system with a cured-in-place-pipe, instead of digging up the pipes to replace them.

One of the benefits to this method, Cade explained, is the cost.

If the city were to dig and replace the pipes, it would spend about $60 million.

“It’s about four times the cost of this project plus all the disruption,” Cade said.

So far, crews are about 34 percent complete with the project, which was supposed to be done by October, but will take a little longer due to severe weather during the winter.

“We’re hoping to be able to pick up the pace,” Cade told council.

The sewer relining process has included a condition assessment period in which the crews used video to inspect the inside of the pipes before applying the liner.

Sometimes what they found surprised them. Like when they found a concrete wall in one of the pipes.

A small hole was beneath the wall, allowing only a little of the water to flow through.

Cade said the wall could have been there to divert the water back into the Ohio River and bypass the plant.

“It was intentionally built that way,” Cade said. Crews have since cut through the wall to allow water to flow.

Another part of the project is to rehabilitate the manholes with a new frame and cover.

The frame and cover reduce the infiltration of surface water and minimizes the bump from uneven installations.

They also seal the interior of the manhole from groundwater infiltration. Of the 1033 manholes that are to be repaired, crews have finished 539 to date.

Cade told council that the repairs made to the sewer system will last at least 50 years and probably longer.

“This is going to last a lot longer than any of us and hopefully our children too,” Cade said.

In other business, the Ironton City Council also:

Passed an ordinance vacating a portion of Eden Alley.

Approved a resolution directing the mayor to enter into or amend a contract with Grubb and Ellis West Shell Commercial Marketing Company to market the Ironton Iron property

Approved a resolution authorizing Vice Mayor Kevin Waldo to be named as signatory on all accounts at financial institutions

Heard the first reading of an ordinance designating the city as a recovery zone according to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of issuing recovery zone economic development bonds.