Tri-City residents need to get involved

With a project such as the Tri-City Regional Sanitary District, there is a process called value engineering which analyzes the objectives of the project against the most optimal, cost-effective ways to accomplish those objectives. Value engineering ensures a project does not cost millions more than it should. 

Based on the information from the 208 Permit and the TRSD website, it’s clear that this project has not been value engineered. When I asked Bob Zache if the project had been valued engineered, he said, “What’s that?”

Bob Zache claims it’s less expensive to run wastewater uphill, and that’s why the treatment plant is being built uphill against gravity flow. When asked why the plant isn’t located downstream, Bob stated “What, and deal with the Corp of Engineers?” Miami has installed hundreds of feet of pipe in the creek without having issues with the Corp of Engineers. The reason TRSD located the plant uphill is because it would never get funded otherwise: it would be too close to Miami’s plant and seen as duplication and wasteful spending. 

The TRSD website claims that forming a partnership with the Town of Miami and the City of Globe is cost prohibitive, without providing estimated costs.

TRSD residents will have to pay 50 percent of the project costs (potentially up to 100 percent of phases II and III). If TRSD partnered with Globe and Miami, the loan repayment would be 20 percent. I don’t see how paying 30 percent-80 percent more could be considered savings.

Bob Zache claims residents will pay less by building their own wastewater treatment plant, by my estimate, a twenty-million-dollar facility. The treatment plant’s annual maintenance and operations costs will exceed $100,000 per year, including the multi-million-dollar loan repayment. How is that a savings? A third wastewater treatment plant would not be needed if TRSD would be receptive to a regional wastewater system.

The TRSD’s engineer is tied to a sister company that specializes in building wastewater treatment plants.

When asked how the residents of Tri-City could repay a multi-million-dollar loan, Bob Zache claims the large wastewater accounts will be taken away from the Town of Miami — the commercial plazas, hospital, and school wastewater accounts. USDA has already said absolutely not; those accounts are an integral part of Miami’s loan. Bob Zache plans to spend tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees fighting to strip those accounts from Miami when USDA has already said absolutely not, and it’s USDA’s decision to make.

Pace Engineering has submitted the 208 Permit with numerous inaccuracies, i.e., cost of septic tank systems being between $25,000 to $30,000 (local septic system installers report systems at $8,000 to $12,000); neglects to mention that areas being served by Miami will not be released according to USDA; permit maps show wastewater lines being installed into areas currently serviced by City of Globe, all these inaccuracies drive the costs up.

Tri-City residents must get involved before we end up with issues now being faced by the Town of Miami, or worse.