Originally published Friday, February 9, 2018 at 05:56a.m.

Elimination of odors at the Sundog Wastewater Treatment Plant along Highway 89 will be among the benefits expected from a $21.6 million loan that the City of Prescott received this week.

The state’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority has announced that a 30-year $21.6 million loan for the centralization of Prescott’s wastewater treatment system closed on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

For years, the city has planned for centralization of its two main plants – the Sundog Wastewater Treatment Plan located near the corner of Highway 89 and Prescott Lakes Parkway, and the Airport Wastewater Treatment Plant – at the airport-area plant.

A number of individual projects are already underway to work toward that goal, Public Works Director Craig Dotseth said Thursday.

For instance, the first phase of the Sundog trunk main (sewer line installation) project is complete, and the second phase is designed and nearly ready to out to bid, Dotseth said. A third phase is still to come.

He added that construction of the related Sundog lift station is nearly complete as well, while an airport trunk main project is under design.

The $21.6 million borrowed through the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority will go toward completion of those projects, Dotseth said.

He estimates that the three projects will be complete by the end of 2019, with the entire centralization goal expected to be achieved by 2023/2024.

A news release from the state agency reported: “With this loan, the city will decommission all treatment processes except preliminary treatment at the current Sundog Wastewater Treatment Plant and treat all wastewater in a centralized location at the Airport Wastewater Treatment Plant.”

That will result in a number of benefits, including: reduction in the city’s operating and maintenance costs; improvement of the quality of effluent (treated wastewater) to an A+ for the entire system; and elimination of odor complaints from the Sundog Plant.

“Those are all pieces of the puzzle,” Dotseth said.

He pointed out that the proximity of the Sundog Plant to residential areas has generated complaints in the past.

“As times goes on, houses are locating closer and closer (to the plant),” Dotseth said.

Prescott has partnered with the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) since 2003 to obtain low-cost financing for its water and wastewater infrastructure, according to the news release.

“WIFA appreciates the opportunity to support the city’s commitment to investing in critical water and wastewater infrastructure improvements,” said Trish Incognito, WIFA executive director.

The Prescott City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the debt issuance for the first phase of the wastewater centralization project at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Budget and Finance Director Mark Woodfill reported Thursday that the loan closed at an interest rate of 2.328 percent. The loan will be repaid through wastewater-treatment rates, he added.