LAKE PLACID — The Town Council got good news from its grant writer recently: A $1.8 million grant from the State Revolving Fund has been approved, which will cover all the sewer and lift stations the town will install and link with the Lake Placid Camp & Conference Center.

The goal is to remove decades-old septic tanks and replace them with modern sewage removal systems. The lift stations will help the town pull sewage at the boundary of the private Christian property and get it to a wastewater treatment plant.

“You’re in an excellent position with that project, the grant includes all the lift station work,” said Corbett Alday of Guardian Community Resource Management Inc. He acts as the town’s grant writer.

Construction engineers with the Church of the Nazarene are writing bids to solicit companies to do the work. The Southern Florida District Church of the Nazarene bought the property in 1997. The conference center, which is open year ‘round, sees 30,000 visitors a year, or 600 guests a day, the church says.

Alday gave the town other good grant news at the Oct. 11 regular meeting: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which funds programs to help businesses and municipalities, approved an additional $570,000 for the town’s use. That may mean the town has more money than the project might require, the grant consultant said.

“What you have is a good problem,” Alday told the council. “You have more grant funds awarded to you than your engineer’s estimate of cost.”

The partnership the town and the conference center owners created to solve the problem of aging septic tanks at the center might be useful to provide fresh potable water mains to the church property, Alday said. He also suggested money left over from the lift stations might pay for that work.

The church apparently asked Alday to float a water line trial balloon with the council.

“They are interested in doing a State Revolving Fund for the drinking water,” Alday said. “If the council will entertain that. I would be looking for input on whether you want to do that or not, an additional partnership with them.”

Lake Placid Utilities Director Joe Barber will analyze what such a project might cost and bring it to the council in future meetings.

There was other grant news: The town will receive $700,000 in Community Development Block Grant money for the replacement of water main along Main Street and Interlake Boulevard. Barber described the project for the Highlands News-Sun recently.

Rather than digging up and removing the 12-inch water pipe that was installed under the curbs decades ago, the town will use a new technique for installing new water pipes, Barber said.

The method, called pipe bursting, uses a hydraulic or pneumatic expansion head pulled through the existing pipeline, typically using a cable or winch. As workers drag it underground, it breaks the old pipe and makes way for new pipe. Barber hopes to replace it with a new, 14-inch plastic pipe.

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