City administrators hope to shave another $10.5 million off the cost of the combined sewer project.

“That’s a pretty good day here,” Marilyn Keith, chair of the public service committee on Akron City Council, said Monday after hearing and applauding two proposals that promise to chip away at the more than $1 billion, court-mandated sewer project.

Public Service Director John Moore, who presented the cost-saving alternatives to the council, said the ultimate cost of the citywide project, originally estimated at $1.4 billion, will not be known until the last sewer line, catch basin and green infrastructure project are completed in about five years.

The last estimate, released in December, put the total project at $1.16 billion after adjusting for an integrated plan that includes innovative engineering, cheaper construction alternatives and low interest state loans.

Moore, looking to further reduce the cost of an “unaffordable” project, said Monday that the city will save $10 million by scrapping plans for a catch basin in East Akron, opting instead to enlarge 400 feet of nearby sewer line and adding two green infrastructure projects that will soak up rainwater like a natural sponge. The Kelly Conveyance Rack 3 project will now feature two green spaces on Chittenden Street at McKinley Avenue and Bittaker Street. The craft gardens are designed with flowering trees, hummingbirds and butterflies, instead of an expensive concrete catch basin.

The sewer line, estimated to cost $2.6 million, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The two green spaces, at $2.4 million, should be done by April 2019.

The city’s second cost-saving initiative involves sponsoring three unrelated public water projects in Stark, Tuscarawas and rural Franklin counties. By helping these smaller jurisdictions get state funding, the state is offering Akron a 0.1 percentage point reduction on future loans, reducing interest payments by an estimated $500,000.

Reach Doug Livingston at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @ABJDoug on Twitter or www.facebook.com/doug.livingston.92 on Facebook.