GRW representatives were on hand for the groundbreaking to celebrate Kentucky's first water sector-based public-private partnership (P3) - a new $8.3-million wastewater treatment plant in Brandenburg, KY. And according to a news release from the City, it's the first local public-private partnership (P3) approved by the Kentucky Local Government Public-Private Partnership Board since HB309 was passed in 2016.
GRW is the lead design firm for the project; the P3 team includes The Walker Company, the design/build contractor; RSA Advisors, financing; and Frost Brown Todd, legal counsel for Brandenburg.
The new P3 treatment plant is the second big-news project for the small city - population 2,842 - located southwest of Louisville on the Ohio River. Last year Nucor Steel, one of the nation's largest steel and steel products producer, broke ground on a 1.5 million-square-foot, $1.7 billion operation. According to local news reports, when the Nucor plant opens in 2022, it's expected to employ 400 people.
Nucor's arrival in conjunction with its location near the existing wastewater treatment plant meant Brandenburg needed to relocate it and build a new plant; the new plant will also include features designed to address the City's Agreed Order with the Kentucky Division of Water.
Among those attending was Kentucky League of Cities Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney, who described the project as a "difference-making partnership." Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner also said he was "proud of that fact that this project is Kentucky's first local government P3" since the passing of the bill that made it possible.
The new 0.5 MGD average daily flow (1.5 MGD peak rated flow) plant will consist of mechanical fine screening, grit removal, a concentric-ring oxidation ditch, a splitter box to two circular clarifiers, a disinfection contact basin using peracetic acid for disinfection, a RAS/WAS/drain pump station, scum pump station, aerated sludge holding, a screw press for dewatering solids, a new electrical building, and an emergency generator. The project also includes upgrades to the existing main pump station at the City’s Riverfront Park, and entails four new pumps, the hydraulic connection of two wet wells with a 16-inch pipe, and a new platform holding an emergency generator and pump controls to raise the equipment out of the 100-year flood plain.
It is anticipated Brandenburg's project will open the door for other local governments to take advantage of the opportunities P3 offers to improve their water systems and other infrastructure needs. Kentucky's Finance and Administration Cabinet's website offers background information about public-private partnerships in the Commonwealth.