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Residents will pay for sewage plant
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The Hinesville City Council has decided to spend millions to conceivably save millions on their wastewater treatment plant project. But  either way, residents will pay.  
The council will use about $3 million in water-and-sewer impact fees to increase the operational capacity of its new wastewater plant, according to the city’s chief financial officer, Kim Thomas.
A water-and-sewer impact fee is included in residents’ utility bills because, by paying the fee, they are buying a portion of the wastewater system for their use, Thomas said.
She noted the average household uses 350 gallons of water per day.
Impact fees are a self-funding service, and these particular fees can only be used to increase the wastewater system capacity, she said.
“The $3 million will go to buying sequencing batch reactors, which will increase the efficiency of the plant, and it will save money in mobilization costs to do it now rather than later,” Thomas said.
When the new plant is fully operational — September or October — it will be able to treat two million gallons per day, and the state-of-the-art facility will be able to recycle all of that water for irrigation purposes, city engineer Paul Simonton said.
“With the growing Hinesville population, the plant is also being equipped to double it's capacity from two million to four million gallons per day when the demand is eventually needed," Simonton said.
In other city news, the Edward Byrnes Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program will help buy new equipment for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department and the Hinesville Police Department. The money used from the grant will go to buying new equipment for some of the sheriff’s and HPD cruisers, HPD Chief George Stagmeier said.
The equipment will include new radios, siren lights, cages, radars and cameras.
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