WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) - When West Point officials purchased a wastewater treatment center from the Sara Lee Corp. for one dollar, they knew they were making more than just a worthwhile investment.
"If we were to build it from the ground up, it would cost us about $18 million," said Dwight Prisock, superintendent of the city's water and light department. "At this point we paid a dollar for the existing plant in sight. We're going to spend approximately $6 million to upgrade it. So it's about a $12 million gift from Sara Lee Corp. to the city of West Point."
To help facilitate the project, construction started about a month ago on a new road, one that is designed to handle heavy loads of trucks that will have access in and out of the treatment center.
"The current road we access the plant is good for light vehicular traffic but not with heavy, loaded trucks with dirt, concrete or steel," said Prisock. "We're building an access road that will allow that access."
Once construction on the new road is finished, the contractor will be able to come in and install a new dirt fill and put in a new grit chamber on top of the dirt.
"We've actually got the first layer built for about a foot or so above the earth levels," adds Prisock. "After this rain, we should be able to go in and finish the topping and finish getting it ready for the construction crews."
With the change to a newer wastewater system, homeowners and businesses will not see any drastic changes when it comes to service.
"The residents will not notice any change; the Department of Environmental Quality is the one that will notice the change because the tests that we run, the analysis that we run on the wastewater before we discharge it will improve."
The new plant will be automated so the current staff will remain in place.