Dubuque to Increase Cost of Priciest Project

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - It's the priciest project in Dubuque's history.
At $64 million city leaders are transforming the waste water processing plant to the Water and Resource Recovery Center.
Once complete, the renovation will make getting rid of waste less expensive and more environmentally friendly.

But those changes will come at an even higher price with plant directors now asking the Dubuque City Council for nearly $2.5 million in additional funding.

A $64 million make-over changes the way the city uses waste.

Plant Manager Jonathan Brown said, "instead of burning the solids were actually using them to create methane which we then would use to create energy and heat which will be used to operate the plant."

Brown says installing Micro-turbines would take that process to a higher level.

Brown said, "so what were doing with the turbines, we are inserting the little step in the middle so not only are we going to get the heat out the them we're also going to get electricity. "

And with an annual electric bill of about a half million dollars, Brown says that's a big way to save money.

During Monday's meeting, Council Member Kevin Lynch questioned why directors didn't include the micro-turbines in the original project cost.

Lynch said, "why didn't we just say in the beginning, instead of 64 million why didn't we just say 66.5 million? "

Other council members recalled previously learning they'd making this decision at this point in the renovation project ,

Brown said, "we wouldn't be able to install it until now anyway, so we have to get the project almost completed so we have a place to put the turbines. "

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