The Manila $1.2 million wastewater plant facility expansion is on schedule after having to request a 30-day extension due to excessive wet weather in the early days of the work.
Randy Polk, project engineer with the State Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission, made a monthly inspection Wednesday and said he was pleased with the progress.
The expansion became necessary due to the fact that the city service was reaching 90-95 percent capacity.
Manila Mayor Clifford Veach said the population of Manila grew 10 percent from the 1990 to the 2000 census.
"I think it will grow even more this next decade," Mayor Veach said.
Polk said that the reports he researched show that Manila has increased in population every census since 1910.
The last expansion of the Manila wastewater facility was done in 1990.
As city officials began to look at the situation in 2001, they realized that it would be an expensive, but necessary, project for the city. One of the first steps was to decide the most economical way to fund the project with the least amount of burden on the Manila citizens. The decision was made to ask for a one half cent sales tax to fund the project. Voters passed the tax in October 2001 with a 80 percent margin.
The city was approved for a low interest loan through the Clean Water State Revenue Fund using the half cent tax revenue to repay the loan.
Jewell Engineers, P.A. Engineers, Surveyors of Little Rock is the engineering firm used on the project with the construction bid going to Nabholz Building, Management Company, Inc. (NBMC)
Adam's Land Company in Leachville donated approximately 20 acres of land adjoining the existing Manila wastewater treatment facility.
Resident Engineer on the project is Max Schrader with XAM Consulting.
The project began March 15 with a six month deadline. If weather permits, the project is scheduled to be completed by the middle of October.
Beginning March 15, 25,000 feet of eight-inch sewer lines were installed in 30 days.
"This was done in a time frame as not to interrupt the farming community's schedule," Schrader said. "When we started out it was wet weather and that slowed us down, but the construction crew is doing an excellent job."
In addition to laying the pipe, the dirt work was quite an undertaking. Precision Land Leveling contracted the dirt work and Acres & Son Co. contracted the installation of lines.
Three new lagoons were dug six and one half feet deep and 520 feet by 289 feet. Schrader explained that the soil is very sandy in that area and six inches of clay gumbo, compacted to three inches, was poured in the new lagoons. Rip rap is being placed around the lagoons to prevent future erosion. Also, a pump house and control buildings are under construction.
Jackie Arnold with NBMC, Inc. of Greenbrier is serving as project superintendent.
NBMC, Inc. has been in the business for 12 years. Arnold has been with NBMC for seven years.
"The project is going well and the people of the town have been great to work with," Arnold said. "Max has been a big help. We have helped each other. Whenever there is a question, we just get out the plans."
The expansion will double the size of the existing wastewater plant.
"This should serve the residents of Manila for many years to come," Mayor Veach said.