ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany leaders approved funding for a project to make repairs to 10 lift stations after a series of sewage spills into the Flint River.
Repairs had been put on hold after Hurricane Michael and the heavy rain that caused city-wide flooding at the beginning of December.
But the city has officially received needed parts, and as soon as water levels recede a little more, they’ll be installed.
The $1 million project is being split up into three phases.
The first is the river station renovation project. The second is a $15 million project to repair the east and west end interceptors which are sewer pipes that run along the river.
The city is ready to start construction on this part of the project. It will take about a year and is expected to make the pipes suitable to last another 50 years.
This will be funded through a state grant.
“But we’re doing other things in the meantime. We’re also working on our telemetry system, which is how we communicate with the stations. Verizon is working with us on that to make sure we can, at all times, know the status of the stations,” said City Manager Sharon Subadan.
The third part is the city will hire an engineering consultant who will come in and give them long-term solutions to prevent future spills.
This part of the project will take several months and the city will have to figure out how to pay for it, either through grants or other funding sources.
The city also has another project in the works.
Albany city officials may have to spend $2.5 million to repair street light cables.
About 47,000 feet of underground street light cables have deteriorated throughout Albany. If the cables are ruined, the street lights won’t turn on.
But this multi-million dollar project is separate from the $3.5 million the city will be spending to repair and replace the street lights themselves with LED lights.
“We just can’t keep the power on. So, our priority is to approach that 47,000 feet first, ahead of the LED light streetlight project. So, when we get the LED street lights in place and changed out, that they’re not sitting there and don’t have power to them," explained Director of Utility Operations Jimmy Norman.
The Albany Utility Board will recommend city commissioners approve funding the project at their next meeting.