Brandenburg’s wastewater P3 could be Kentucky’s first

The city of Brandenburg may become the first local government in Kentucky to execute a public-private partnership under legislation passed in 2016 to make P3s more accessible for local and state governments.

The city issued a request for proposals on Feb. 18, seeking potential partners to develop a new wastewater treatment plant for the Meade County community. Proposals are due by April 17, and the city is hosting a mandatory pre-proposal meeting on March 16 at 10 a.m. (Click here to see the RFP.)

Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner said the new, expanded plant is being planned to make room for NuCor Inc.’s new $1.35 billion steel mill – a project that will create more than 400 jobs. The city’s current treatment plant is located on land where NuCor will locate, so the city needs to move and expand the facility.

A preliminary engineering study estimated the new treatment plant will cost $7 million to $9 million. NuCor will fund a significant portion of the project through its repayment of a bond issued by Meade County Fiscal Court, Joyner said.

He added that he’s excited by the prospect of completing the first P3 project under legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2016 and that the new plant makes room for a project that will transform the community of about 28,000 residents. Currently, a majority of residents work outside Meade County.

With NuCor’s investment, “we could go from a bedroom community to a destination,” Joyner said.

Details of Wastewater RFP

Brandenburg Wastewater P3
The RFP is designed to provide the city with options for the development, allowing potential partners to respond to all or some of the components, including:

  • Designing and building a wastewater treatment plant with a 500,000-gallon-per-day capacity;
  • Financing the project;
  • Replacing 45,000 feet of clay tile piping;
  • Operating the new wastewater facility;
  • Providing other innovative solutions.

Joyner said the key reasons for using P3 were to speed the design, permitting and construction processes and to potentially save costs for the project.

The entire project needs to be completed by December of next year.

“I look at this as a big opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited.”

— Ed Green

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