Construction Prices, Steel Tariffs Drive Up Project By $25M

Sep 25, 2018

Little Cottonwood Water Treatment Plant
Credit mwdsls.org

The estimated cost for a new wastewater treatment plant in northern Utah has increased by $25 million over the last two years, and officials say it's because of climbing construction costs and President Donald Trump's steel tariffs.

Officials are planning to borrow more money and ask for a loan extension so they don't have to further increase water rates for people in seven Cache County cities that will use the new system.

Mark Nielsen, an engineer overseeing the project, says the estimated price tag's increase from $106 million to $131 million happened for two key reasons: The booming economy means contractors are charging higher rates, and the tariffs have increased the price of steel.

The area needs to replace its current facility because it doesn't meet regulations.