SUNRISE BEACH, MO. -- The Clean Water Commission has placed the Sunrise Beach Phase 1 sewer project on the fundable list for $6.12 million in state revolving funds from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources.
The village has been allotted two years to use the funding. Sunrise Beach City Planner, Roger Corbin, and Schultz and Summers Engineering’s Jarrod Wheaton heard the funding announcement at a Clean Water Commission meeting Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Truman Building in Jefferson City. Wheaton is the village sewer project manager.
“This money has been made available for municipalities to put in sewers with very low interest rate loans,” Corbin said, noting the funds would have to be repaid. The village board has not yet approved application for a loan. “The unique thing about this funding is the Clean Water Commission approved $18.5 million to be transferred from the drinking water SRF fund to the clean water SRF fund,” Corbin said. Clean water funds are used for sewer and wastewater projects. “With the drought there was some question about the availability of funds,” said Schultz and Summers Lake Manager Jim Fisher. “We are excited and thankful that DNR has agreed to fund this project.”
In its August meeting, the village board of trustees approved Schultz and Summers Engineering to handle construction of Phase 1. The project will extend along the Highway 5 corridor from Lake Road 5-39 to the Hurricane Deck Bridge. “We would like to fast-track this project because Woods Supermarket is working overtime to get their development opened by Memorial Day 2013,” Corbin said. Woods Supermarket will contribute $240,000 to the project in the form of an impact fee.
Eighty-five percent of the project will connect to businesses along the Highway 5 corridor. High-end business users impacted will include: the new Wood’s Supermarket, Cannon Smoked Saloon, Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill, Deepwater Inn, Sunrise RV Park, Tortilla Flats and The Branding Iron. The Highway 5 business corridor was chosen for the first phase because it will be the spine of the system; future sections will be added and connected in subsequent phases.
The total cost of the Phase 1 sewer system is projected to be $2.4 million, and according to Corbin, there are no grants currently available for the project. The village can not exceed the bonding authority of $8 million approved by voters, and it has already spent $2.5 million on the water project. The cost of the water and Phase 1 sewer projects combined is nearly $5 million, leaving the village just over $3 million in bonding authority.
A portion of the remaining approved loans could be used for a Phase 2 sewer project, if deemed economically feasible. Phase 2 plans have not been approved, but the board of trustees has discussed various options, such as constructing another small plant or hooking into an existing system.
The project has been rife with challenges, from delays in transferring money to sewer fund shortages and lengthy deliberations by village trustees. Now those involved in the construction will be forced to work on a relatively short time line. “We have been waiting for this for a long time. It has been a one-year process just to get to this point, and it is a really big deal,” Corbin said, adding, “It will be an even bigger deal to get this thing in the ground.”
“This is a great day for Sunrise Beach and the water quality of the Lake of the Ozarks. It will be an even greater day when we can get the residents hooked up too,” said Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance Executive Director Donna Swall. She continued, “We have several businesses that are struggling to manage their wastewater. LOWA is all about the economic, social and environmental health of the Lake area. If the economy goes, so goes the rest and that puts a bad light on the Lake and that is not good for tourism. From a health standpoint, Sunrise Beach was founded in the early 1950’s and there are very old septics in the village. Anytime we can get those old septics offline it will improve water quality, plus we need the infrastructure to grow our economy. LOWA will continue to work in other counties to eventually form a four-county alliance for managing wastewater.”