Venice turns the wrench on a multimillion dollar project

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VENICE, FL - The city of Venice currently has 50 infrastructure projects they're working on. Getting started on the biggest this morning. A nearly  seven million dollar upgrade to it's water treatment plant.

Venice Utilities Director Len Bramble says much of the city's reverse osmosis water treatment plant has seen its day. "The racks are rusting, old, and degrading."

Tuesday city leaders turning the first wrench on a $6.7 million dollar upgrade and replacement. "This is going to be newer technology. Much better filtration."

A lot of money for the city but something those like Council Member Bob Daniels say is needed for now and down the road. "This is a wise investment for our future here. You cannot grow without this investment."

The upgrades will eventually help with the growth planned for the city. Currently North Venice is seeing homes popping up once again. Thousands of units are already approved. A handful of developers are even working to rezone more land around I-75. "We have Tuscana Isles and several other developments coming along with a hospital out there by I-75 and Laurel. The growth is coming."

The city has an electric bill around a million and half dollars a year. About half is used by the utilities department to pump and treat the water which isn't all used. The improvements are the first step towards being able to use more water and less power says Bramble. "Right now we are a 50% recovery plant. With a second pass we can go from about 75% to 80%."

The city will pay for the improvements with a low interest bond. Paying that off with future users fees. "Water is the most critical thing that we have. The most critical thing that we can do is supply good clean safe drinking water for our citizens."

Improvements to the plant are expected to be completed by July of next year.