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Sewer upgrade for Holts Summit advances

The city of Holts Summit has gone ahead with the next formal step in its sewer system update.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance authorizing Mayor Lucas Fitzpatrick to sign an abatement order of consent — a formal agreement to go forward with the project — with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“We’ve been approved for building our new treatment plant, and we are currently in a design (phase) of that plant,” City Administrator Brian Crane said, noting the city had made plans to update their system about two years ago. “We’ve got an old plant ... and now the new plant is on its way.”

Voters in Holts Summit approved a $7 million sewer bond issue in the April 2011 election to rebuild the city’s sewage system. The new system would be able to handle 600,000 to 700,000 gallons of wastewater daily.

The bond issue carried no tax increase and will be funded by rate increases.

“It’ll probably be a phased-in approach, because we will be incurring cost on the project for the next few years,” Crane said. “Instead of having new rates hit (residents) all at once, it’ll be on a rate schedule. We’re just not really sure on the cost and where the rates need to be with growth and estimates.”

The city also passed amendments to its general fund and other areas of the 2013 budget.

Crane said that with a budget at about $2.5 million, this year’s budget is close to last year’s and the city has been on track for its projections to date. There are no new tax increases, and the budget includes several grant-funded items including a sidewalk and gutter-renovation project.

The aldermen also had a first reading on a bill authorizing addition to a new sidewalk project with DNR funds for the Holts Summit Trail Connection Project, which would build a short trail connecting the Hibernia Station and Greenway parks. Crane said the project would cost $130,000, with $100,000 funded through grants.

It is anticipated to take about 90 days to install the trail and would potentially be completed by the end of summer 2014.

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