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story.lead_photo.caption Callaway County health department members Mylene Dunn, left, and Kent Wood; lawyer Tom Riley; and county commissioners Gary Jungermann and Randy Kleindienst gathered Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to discuss ballot language. Photo by Helen Wilbers / News Tribune.

A proposed sewer district will be considered by some Callaway County voters in the Aug. 7 primary election.

"We're asking to be able to take over failing systems," said Kent Wood, environmental and public health specialist with the Callaway County Health Department.

Officials are not talking about building a sewer system or plant. They want to fix systems already existing but in need of repair.

"They're throughout the county, not in one specific spot," Wood said. "Millersburg needs help; Wildwood needs help. We could assist with Mokane. It will be a countywide thing."

Cities such as Fulton, Kingdom City and Holts Summit — part of centralized systems — would be excluded from the county sewer district, and voters in those communities will not be presented with the referendum.

"They will not be affected in any way," Wood said.

If the measure passes, a board will be formed to make plans going forward.

"We would be taking over operations and maintenance of existing systems," he said. "It's not to construct. It's to assist those needing help."

The district would not be tax-supported. It would be sustained by users.

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Department officials recently published a fact sheet noting the following information:

  • Voters in incorporated areas will not vote on this ballot measure.
  • There will be no cost to residents of Callaway County.
  • The district will be user-funded for operations and maintenance with a monthly fee.
  • Homeowners on individual systems will not be affected.
  • Initially, subdivisions with existing wastewater treatment systems will be eligible for operations and maintenance by the sewer district.
  • No construction is planned at this time. The vote is only to form a sewer district for operating and maintaining existing wastewater systems.

"We're starting cold," Wood said. "We just saying, 'Can we?'"

For more information, call the health department's environmental services department at 573-642-5750.

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