Groundbreaking ceremony takes place for the new Mitchell Lagoon project

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MITCHELL, Neb. (KNEP) - A groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new Mitchell Lagoon, and city officials expect it to be an important addition to the area.

According to city administrator, Jeffry Sprock, the current lagoon system has been in violation with the state’s DQ regulations and discharging into the river.

"The city of Mitchell is replacing their old lagoon system that was installed in the early 60's,” Sprock said. "The old lagoon liners are no longer effective, and with the new federal regulations on lagoons the current one is too close to the river. The city of Mitchell was required to design a new project.”

The lagoon project took about five years of planning, and the project started this June. As of now, city officials are looking at options on what to do with the current lagoon system when the new one is in place.
“At this point the city doesn’t have any plans for this property, but we are looking at options,” Sprock said.

The cost of the project is estimated to be about 4.1 million dollars. The Nebraska Department Water Sustainability will fund 2.6 million dollars towards the project, and the rest of the funding will be a USDA loan of 1.6 million dollars where residents of Mitchell will be paying off for the next 40 years.

“We still don’t know exactly how much the residents will be paying at this time, we have to wait until council,” Sprock said. “The rates will be going up probably sometime in the winter of next year, and it will be a slow raise.”

Sprock adds, the new lagoon system can provide benefits for the community.

One of the special things about this lagoon is that it’s green, Sprock added. “Taking the city’s effluent to reat water and using that to grow a crop in an environmental way, that’s one of the neat things about this project.

The city of Mitchell hopes to complete the project by spring of 2019.