The city of Dade City has received $1.75 million in federal funds to help relocate and upgrade its current wastewater treatment plant.
The funds are coming through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and were secured by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, according to a news release from Bilirakis’ office.
The project is one of 483 water infrastructure projects funded in communities across the country, according to the release.
Bilirakis favors reining in federal spending, but at the same time supports giving local communities their fair share, the release notes.
“I am proud to have secured this funding for a project Dade City and the residents of Mickens-Harper have hoped for since 2011, and I’ll keep working to address water quality issues throughout Florida’s 12th Congressional District,” Bilirakis said, in the release.
This relocation project will provide significant environmental benefits to the area, given that the current site is adjacent to the Green Swamp, where the Withlacoochee River meets the Hillsborough River watersheds, the release says.
The relocation will better protect adjacent waterways due to the use of a three-stage biological nutrient removal process, the release adds.
At the same time, it will improve conditions for the Mickens-Harper neighborhood, the release adds, noting such benefits as reduced noise, traffic and odors, while creating more open space and improving aesthetics, the release continues.
The city also has asserted the project will provide economic benefits and create 150 new jobs during the construction process.
“The City of Dade City is grateful for our partnership with Congressman Bilirakis and his advocacy in securing funding to upgrade and relocate the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant,” City Manager Leslie Porter said, in the release.
“The funding makes it possible to fast-track this important project. The current plant, constructed in the 1950s, was built in the Historic Mickens-Harper neighborhood. As Dade City continues moving in a forward direction, relocating the plant will address that environmental injustice.
“The city is committed to providing our residents in this community a better quality of life. As our existing plant nears capacity, the new facility will accommodate growth while protecting our watershed and water bodies. This benefits us all,” Porter said.
Published November 22, 2023