Mayor James Mears

  • Population: 12,500
  • Service Area Population: 12,000

For additional information, contact: James Mears Mayor City of Franklin (513) 743-7755 FAX (513) 746-2166 


The City of Franklin and the Miami Water Conservancy District (MCD) completed the first sale of a wastewater treatment facility under the terms of Executive Order 12803. Until 1995, wastewater treatment for the City and surrounding areas was provided through MCD, a regional flood control district. The facility was operated by a private firm, under short-term contract. After considerable up-front discussion among the local governments involved, it was decided to explore sale of the facility as an EPA demonstration project. A Service Agreement was negotiated with Wheelabrator EOS, the contract operator of the facility. The Service Agreement provided for the sale price of the facility, beginning year service rate, standards for operation and maintenance, expansion, termination and conflict resolution. An intergovernmental agreement was signed by the involved local governments which established an Advisory Board to provide oversight and management of the Service Agreement (including determination of needed expansion of the plant).

In 1996, after a two-step procurement process, Franklin selected Earth Tech, Inc. to design, build, own and operate a 5 million gallon per day (MGD) water treatment plant for the City. Under Safe Drinking Water Act regulations, Franklin must begin to treat water withdrawn from its well fields by 1998. The private approach taken will provide treatment capability much sooner than the City could have done on its own.


Wastewater rates were reduced 26percent in the first year of the new agreement. With the exception of energy and chemical costs, future rate increased are limited to inflation. The 20 year life-cycle cost for the water treatment plant, as bid by Earth Tech were 20 to 35 percent lower than the other bidders.

As a result of being able to offer stable and predictable water and ewer rates for the next 20 years, 16 manufacturing plant expansions or new facilities (worth over $200 million) have been started in Franklin. The City has doubled its operating surplus since 1994. The new development has created over 2,000 new jobs. Building permits for almost 200 new homes are on file (all of which can be served at no cost to the City using existing water and sewer lines). The City is also accelerating payments on outstanding debt.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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