Verndale City News
by Marlo Benning
Joeb Oyster of Moore Engineering spoke at the January meeting in regards to the water system improvement project.
In a letter, he outlined what funding would look like.
The estimated costs include a nitrate removal plant, a transmission looping line and a new water tower. The costs were sent to the Public Facilities Authority and were used to determine loan affordability and funding package. It showed that the city meets the eligibility of a 80/20 grant/loan at $100,000. The total project funding is approximately an $800,000 loan and a $3,100,000 grant. Oyster noted that the best chance to receive this package is to submit plans and specifications by the first week of March.
It was found that Public Works Manager Matt Uselman would require no additional training to operate the proposed plant.
The loan would be paid back based upon water user rates only. Currently, city residents are about $32 per month per Equivalent Residential Unit. With the new loan, the rates would raise to $53.88 per ERU.
But, it was pointed out that since softening would be taken care of at the new plant, there would be no need to operate household softeners, which would bring a realized rate to about $42 per month per ERU.
Discussion ensued as the council eventually came to the decision to move forward with the project.
Mayor Raye Ludovissie said, “You’re paying more, but it’s a better product. It may sound like a lot, but the quality you are getting back is better...”