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Grant gives Barbertonians half-off deal on wastewater treatment plant upgrades

BOB MOREHEAD | BGNN

One of the plant’s clarifier pools, shown in August 2022, is among the pending recipients of improvements in this phase of the Barberton Waste Water Treatment Facility’s renovations.

 

By BOB MOREHEAD

Gazette Staff Writer

BARBERTON  The Magic City has one of 90 projects statewide getting a slice of $135 million in Ohio Department of Development grants, the city announced July 25.

Barberton’s share is $3 million and is picking up half the tab of the nearly $6 million third phase of wastewater treatment plant upgrades. Often responding to changes in EPA mandates,
the city has spent more than a decade improving the plant. The first phase, at $2.5 million paid for with a Great Recession-era American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, was designed in 2008 and started in 2010. Phase 2 started in 2014, paid for with a $2 million loan.

The current phase is the most ambitious, coming in at $5.6 million.

“There is more flow coming from the southern part of the county, from New Franklin,” Mayor William Judge said. “This will make improvements to help with that and add metering so we know exactly how much is coming in and charge accordingly. This grant is $3 million that isn’t going to the taxpayers.”

Judge then acknowledged that Barbertonians pay the state taxes funding the grant.

“OK, but it’s not going to Akron,” Judge said. “It’s coming home to directly benefit our people.”

Judge said the plant is a critical facility that people rarely think about.

“Most people don’t give two thoughts to what happens after they flush,” Judge said.

But the facility was made both a federal and state priority, helping send the grant this way.

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