The Kodiak Island Borough may seek more money to pay for its ongoing landfill expansion project. In a work session Tuesday night, the borough assembly discussed seeking a $3.4 million “line of credit” from the state’s clean water loan fund.

The new money may be required if bids for a water treatment plant at the landfill come in as high as expected.

In May, the borough — guided by engineering firm CH2MHILL — expected construction costs between $5.6 million and $9.1 million. When contractors’ bids were opened, the lowest bid was $12.2 million.

The borough threw out the bids and started the process over. New bids will be solicited this month, but the borough isn’t expecting the result to be much different.

If construction bids come in at $12.5 million, the total landfill project budget will reach $32 million. Thus far, the borough has only secured $28.6 million.

The new water treatment plant itself has a budget of $16.8 million — more than half the total cost of the landfill expansion.

The existing landfill does not have a water treatment plant, but it was built decades ago, before the Environmental Protection Agency began regulating landfill runoff. Now, the borough is required to collect and clean all landfill runoff to the cleanliness standard used for drinking water.

That requirement, unknown when the landfill expansion project began, has sent costs soaring from an initial estimate of just over $20 million.

Construction of the landfill expansion’s first two phases — digging a pit and lining it with drainage pipes — is finished. Only the treatment plant remains, and it must be completed before the existing landfill is full. Current estimates suggest that may come within two years.

The Kodiak Island Borough assembly will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to consider the additional funding.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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