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Stimulus funds help Brookfield pay for summer projects

June 1, 2010

Work should wrap up by this fall on one of Brookfield's federally funded public works projects, and another is slated to get under way this month.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the city received about $2.3 million to help pay for two projects: upgrades at Brookfield's regional wastewater treatment plant and energy efficiency improvements at the Public Safety Building on Calhoun Road.

Lights, solar panels planned

A $240,000 project to increase energy efficiency and install solar panels on the roof of the city's Public Safety Building likely will start in the next few weeks.

The project - funded via a $191,000 federal grant and a Focus on Energy grant through We Energies - will upgrade light fixtures and the temperature control system at the Public Safety Building, 2100 N. Calhoun Road, which houses Fire Station No. 1, the Brookfield Police Department and the city's municipal court.

A small solar photovoltaic array will be installed on the roof of the building to help generate electricity.

The city has been looking to upgrade the systems at the 20-year-old Public Safety Building for a number of years. Robert Scott, the city's finance director, said the improvements could save the city up to $15,000 a year in energy costs

Work at sewage plant

The city this fall began its upgrades at the Fox River Water Pollution Control Center, 21225 Enterprise Ave. The improvements consist of replacing solids thickening equipment and installing new deep-bed filters, which remove pollutants from the water before it is chlorinated and sent back to the Fox River.

Brookfield had scheduled the replacement of the thickening equipment in its 2009 capital improvement budget, but the filter installation was moved up from 2011 after the city learned federal funding was available, Public Works Director Tom Grisa said.

The most recent upgrades at the plant were done from 1996 to 1999, Grisa said, but the thickeners were renovated then, not replaced, and are reaching the end of their useful life. The federal money also will help pay for completion of the installation of the deep-bed filters, since only six of the eight planned filters were installed in the last upgrade, he said.

Brookfield received about $1.3 million in stimulus funding for the project, as well as an $800,000 loan through the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Fund, Scott said.

The total price tag for the project is about $2.5 million, and the balance will be paid by the other six other communities served by the plant.

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