Anuvia pushes back on paying for cleanup of WWTP

first_img Reply Removing excess sludge from Wastewater Plant will cost $63,400The City Council voted 5-0 at its Wednesday meeting to award Shelley’s Environmental Systems a contract to remove the excess biosolids and sludge from the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The job will take approximately 12 weeks and cost the City $63,400 according to the City Council agenda packet. But during the Council’s discussion period, a familiar name came up about who is at fault for this WWTP issue and who should pay – Anuvia Plant Nutrients in Zellwood.“Other than repairs we need to make on our water plant, will this get us out of the danger zone as far as what we’ve dealt with on this recent issue? Commissioner Doug Bankson asked.“It’s a step,” said Assistant Public Services Director Kevin Burgess. “We did a 14-day composite sampling in January on Anuvia, and we came to the realization that they were severely organically overloading our plant. We can’t get it out of here fast enough. We’ve been in meetings and discussions this week and last. Their new permit is drafted. There are conditions put on them that are going to be enforceable. We’ll get this problem under control, and we’ll get control of our wastewater treatment plant back.”Anuvia Plant Nutrients opened its fertilizer production facility on Jones Road in Zellwood last summer. The state-of-the-art $98 million plant has the capacity to produce greater than 200 tons of product daily, but has also been pointed to as the primary cause of the problems the Wastewater Treatment Facility is experiencing.“If that’s what created the issue, are we asking them to shoulder some of the expense?” Bankson asked.“We will be going back to them for recourse,” Burgess said. “To get some money back yes. There is a condition in their existing permit where we can go back and recoup dollars.”Mayor Joe Kilsheimer brought a different perspective to the discussion and a brief history of Anuvia and the City of Apopka.“There is other information that has never come to light, and that is Anuvia has already paid the City of Apopka $1.5 million in impact fees. That occurred when the city issued their permit. The City of Apopka signed Anuvia up as a customer in March of 2014… which again is before I was elected. We cemented our relationship in October of 2014 with this payment of $1.5 million, and then we issued the permit sometime in 2015.But Bankson didn’t see this as a payment for the issues the plant is facing.“What they paid was what they would have paid for impact anyway. It wasn’t a punitive charge, was it?”“No,” said Kilsheimer. “But what they paid was none-the-less an impact fee.”“This is something beyond what they paid to impact our system,” Bankson said. “So they should be held liable to help deal with this.”Kilsheimer asked City Administrator Glenn Irby to weigh-in.“The composite sampling for 14 days that was done by the City (at a cost of $18,700), they (Anuvia) should definitely pay for that in my opinion,” Irby said. “Some of the things we’ll be demanding in the new permit is that they (Anuvia) buy their own composite sampler, and it will be online for 365 days, and they will provide us with 365 days of composite sampling.”Irby believes Anuvia contributed to the issues the plant is dealing with, but not all of them.“As far as taking the sludge out of the tanks, it may be difficult to pinpoint how much they (Anuvia) contributed to the tanks. This didn’t happen overnight. This has been building over time. It could have been months to years. It can’t be pinpointed. So to say it’s all Anuvia’s fault, I don’t think you can do that. They have done some things they should not have done. The fine structure is not as good as it will be next year. And we do not anticipate this happening again. And if it does it’s going to cost them.”Commissioner Billie Dean called for a cancellation of the Anuvia contract, but Irby explained it may not be in the best interest of the City to do that.“If we can get them to comply (in the new contract), there is good in it for the City,” Irby said. “We make quite a bit of money from the processing of their waste. It’s a good thing for the city revenue-wise.”The contract with Anuvia expires on Monday, March 6th. Burgess said the next contract with Anuvia would be only one year instead of the standard five-year contract.Anuvia CEO Amy Yoder also referenced the hefty impact fee as payment for any issues the City of Apopka is facing.“The city and Anuvia signed a contract, which included a $1.5 million payment from Anuvia for any impacts to the city,” said Yoder by email. “We are in full compliance of this contract and, while we appreciate the efforts the city is making and desire to be a great partner, we believe the $1.5 million we have paid is what should be used. In addition, the Woodward & Curran report clearly stated there are many reasons for the issues at the wastewater plant, with the majority being internal, having nothing to do with the water coming from Anuvia.” Reply Dale Fenwick Instead of addressing this problem head on a year or so ago, Joe Kilsheimer hid the origins of it from the public because it was bad PR for him. The city even went so far as to divert wastewater onto a sprayfield and an adjoining property. This was clearly in violation of FDEP protocols which is one of the reasons the City of Apopka was fined. And Joe STILL won’t answer my question as to who was ultimately responsible for the decision to to open the valves, divert wastewater and potentially poisonous folks who live and work near the wastewater treatment plant. Joe needs to go! Reply TAGSAnuviaApopka City CouncilWastewater Treatment Facililty Previous articleFlorida needs teachers. High schoolers? Not interested.Next articleOlympic-sized swimming facility goes to the back burner Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR March 3, 2017 at 8:15 am Please enter your comment! Reply Reply Okay Dale, maybe it is just sediment in the pipes, not officially sludge, but the bottom line is: the manufacturing process from the fertilizer plant and their wastewater, which is their by- product being discharged out, and is being sent through the underground sewer pipes to the city’s wastewater plant, and has led to unforeseen problems at the plant, according to the report commissioned, and we, the taxpayers of the City of Apopka are having to shoulder the costs. This reasoning offered by the company’s CEO that impact fees were paid to take care of any impacts, does not sit well with me. If that were the case, well then, all of the taxpayers of the city who own a home that was built or built a business here, and paid their impact fees when their homes and businesses were built, should never have to pay any more costs for unforeseen problems, right? If that is the argument presented? We paid our impact fees, so we shouldn’t have to pay for this! No, do not just pull it out of city reserves, no! This company needs to help with these costs because according to the report commissioned they overloaded our wastewater plant. Now the city is facing civil fines, costs for a needed pollution control project to be implemented, engineer report costs to find out what caused the problem, and also a 14 day additional sampling monitoring big costs and big time needed cleanup that will take over $ 63,400 and 12 weeks to complete! The company should help pay the costs, and if they refuse, the city holds to the power in their hands, which is the contract they can refuse to renew if they want to play hardball. March 3, 2017 at 11:07 am Reply Mama Mia March 3, 2017 at 8:05 am Mamma Mia – The sludge is not in the sewer pipes between Anuvia and the City’s wastewater treatment plant. The sludge is a by-product of the wastewater treatment process. Reply Just think of the miles between the fertilizer plant on Jones Av. in Zellwood and the city’s wastewater plant off of Cleveland Av. in Apopka. Now think of all the underground sewer pipes that are clogging up with sludge and the various lift stations in between. Clogging up with sludge residue in the pipes, like plaque in arteries. Why does the fertilizer company’s CEO think that they should not have to pay to help clean up the system leading from their business? Why does she think us City of Apopka taxpayers should have to foot the bill? Our city has a municipal waste water plant, not an industrial waste water plant!!!! They need to either pay the costs of the cleanup, or build their own industrial waste water plant!!! March 3, 2017 at 10:25 am Mama Mia David Rankin Mama Mia Reply What other option does the company have? Who else will take their wastewater? No one, that I know of………… Mama Mia Also I am now reading the CEO’s letter in the Apopka Chief (today’s paper) were she writes about their $ 123 million investment and their world-wide investors…….huh. All I am going further say is this: When two partners cannot come to terms on a contract, what happens? The contract doesn’t get renewed! Mama Mia Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Mallory Walterscenter_img March 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm March 3, 2017 at 8:12 am Let me put it this way…….go to Walmart for example, and look at the fertilizers, and look at the cost of the bags of fertilizer!!!! Fertilizer is not cheap! Somebody is making some big money! March 3, 2017 at 9:00 am March 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply March 3, 2017 at 7:52 am Is the Anuvia Plant in the city limits? If not those impact fees should have gone directly to upgrade the water treatment plant. Even if contract was signed before Joe was elected(again he pushes the blame), he and his staff (city planner, new city manager should have known that this was going to have an impact. You do not tak $1.5 million dollars from private enterprise and not know that it is something other than for traffic impact. Or we’re those fees spent somewhere else within the budget? These are the type of reasons the city has reserves. Just pull it out of the reserves. Michael Heaton Reply Reply Please enter your name here Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Mama Mia Unbelievable !! Why does our Mayor Joe continually want to defend Anuvia while we didn’t have any of these issues until we began to process the Anuvia waste? The Mayor again tries to deflect responsibility to the previous administration, but he ignores the fact that he was seated as a Councilman in that previous administration that he is referring to. The city at least needs to go up on the rates for the fertilizer company in the new contract! Our sewer rates are increasing each year along with reuse water rates, and potable water rates……stop letting this fertilizer company helping to cause us taxpayers to have to pay more! I disagree with the CEO of the company that the initial impact fee covers any and all impacts to the city for the future. An impact fee is only a one time payment that all developers have to pay upon building and opening a business. They now are talking about wanting to expand operations! Now they don’t want to help pay for the cleanup of the wastewater plant that the report shows that they overloaded? The time to act is now! No way should the city’s taxpayers have to foot the bill for the problems! Their contract is up Monday, and now is the time to demand some help, and if they are stubborn, I would definitely look at either not renewing their contract,. or going up on their rates heavily and doing what Glen said about having them buy their own sampler and shut them down if their waste water is at anytime out of compliance, and also stipulations that any future problems caused by their plant, they will be held accountable in court! Just think, what would have happened if it had of taken the plant completely out with a total shutdown, it could have happened, and what would the residents have done then, we couldn’t have flushed our toilets probably! March 2, 2017 at 10:37 pm You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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