GI Makes $60 Million Infrastructure Investment


When it comes to wastewater, Marv Strong has seen it all.

"Sometimes you get rags, believe it or not two by fours, tree limbs, I've seen bowling balls, pins come down the sewer," the wastewater engineer said, "you name it, it comes down the sewer."

Its first stop at the Wastewater Treatment Plant is the headworks.

"Where it's removing heavy material," Strong explained.

Now Grand Island is breaking ground on a $60 million investment to upgrade this entry point.

Mayor Jay Vavricek said, "It's a 50 year investment; you have to plan for the future, take care of today, and all based on employees. It's what cities need to do."

Grand Island had considered privatizing operation of the plant, but instead chose this path.

Vavricek said, "When I talk about a city on the move, this is one example of one department doing what it needs to do to ensure we're going to be successful as a community."

Most don't get as excited as Marv.

"I'm tickled to death," he said with a smile.

Officials say aging infrastructure was on the verge of failure. And systems like this are the backbone to expand industry and jobs.

Vavricek said, "You don't have a home, you don't have a business if you don't have services of the Wastewater Treatment Plant here."

These improvements should make the plant more efficient and effective.

Strong summed it up, "We'll be able to do a better job."

The upgrades don't end here. They are putting in thousands of feet of new sewer lines, but it all starts with the improved headworks.