Leesburg officials manned shovels Thursday morning for the ceremonial groundbreaking on the $39.8 million expansion of the Turnpike Wastewater Treatment Facility located at 1600 County Road 470.
Mayor Jimmy Burry addressed the audience. He stressed that the city of Leesburg can be proud of this project as it supports the growth which increases the tax base which makes many popular projects possible.
City Manager Al Minner told the audience that The Villages wanted to buy the County Road 470 property in December of 2016. He said he told the attorney for The Villages, “OK, but they would have to put a clause in the contract that The Villages would have to begin development of the property.”
He said the attorney laughed and agreed to the clause. That project has resulted in hundreds of homes being added to Leesburg with thousands in the planning stages. Minner went on to say that the increased capacity should meet residents’ needs for at least the next 10 years.
The project will increase the capacity of the plant from 4.5 million gallons per day (MGD) to 6 MGD. It will include two additional sequencing batch reactors, odor control measures, electrical upgrades, a new grit collection unit, two new fine step screens, an additional chlorine contact tank, new effluent monitoring system and modifications to the existing reclaim and reject storage ponds.
The project design engineers are Dewberry Engineers Inc. and the contractor is Wharton-Smith In. Both companies have done work for the city on several projects.