Your Opinion: Other costly proposals loom
Saturday, February 4, 2012
There was an increase in the sewer rates for a typical household of $3.84 per month. This provided for the $8.7 million for a wastewater treatment project. Part of the cost came after the state designated the river to be fishable and swimmable in 2005. Improvements to the wastewater system are essential. To move in this direction ultraviolet radiation (UV) was installed. There is annual operating cost for UV that is in addition to the normal operating cost. It is estimated that the annual cost of UV disinfection at a water treatment plant is $46.791(2009 information) per year for each one million gallons of water treated. With an average flow of 8 MGD the annual cost for Jefferson City could be as much as $375,000. Another estimate places this cost at $113,000, a mostly power cost. Then there was the recent increase to implemented separate billing for wastewater service.
There is concern about the aging wastewater (sanitary sewer lines and storm water) systems infrastructure. The need is for improvements to upgrade the sewer lines and reduce infiltration/inflow. Will there be a future bond issue to address the infrastructure concern?
With the improvements to the Missouri American Water purification facility, there will be an increase in water rates. There is the possibility of an increase in electric and natural gas rates by Ameren UE. There are always unforeseen costs coming such as the Jan. 1, 2012 increase by the Federal Universal Service Fund surcharge increase from 15.3 percent to 17.9 percent. This applies to telephone service. Then there was an article in the paper that there is a plan for another increase in sales tax to support an unnamed project.
In the near future there will be a need for a bond issue for a new high school or additions to the existing high school. Also each year there is always a concern that there is shortage of funding for education (school teachers, etc.) The sales tax would remove this uncertainty.
It seems that a study should be completed to look at all these needed proposed projects so voters will know something about each project the approximate cost and a priority established as to which funding comes first. A 10-year commitment is a long time when there are other taxpayer projects ahead.