Portageville city leaders say infrastructure upgrades coming regardless of vote

Portageville ballot issue could bring jobs to Bootheel area

PORTAGEVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Portageville leaders say the city will get a new wastewater treatment plant, but an April ballot issue could help defray the cost.

The city of Portageville will ask voters to approve a $3 million bond issue that would support a new wastewater treatment plant.

At a town hall meeting on Thursday, Portageville Mayor Floyd Simmons said now is the best time for the city to upgrade its aging treatment plant as the state is committed to covering about one-third of the cost.

Portageville's largest employer, SRG Global, will construct a new $65 million production facility in town with the promise of a new wastewater plant, according to a city information sheet handed out at Thursday's meeting.

Currently, SRG handles all their industrial wastewater treatment thought a discharge permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR no longer allows businesses to hold discharge permits. Instead, they require companies to enter a pre-treatment agreement with the city.

Making a new wastewater treatment inevitable, according to city leaders.

Simmons said SRG will not cease current operations if the bond issue fails, but he said that could comprise business in the future.

In an address in January, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced SRG Global, makers of chrome-plated plastic parts for vehicles and homes, are looking to expand their Portageville facility.

In order to do so, the company needs a waste water plant that can handle industrial waste.

The city's current 30-year-old plant cannot, according to Simmons. That's why he's hoping voters will approve the project.

"Jobs are hard to come by," Simmons said. "If you have a chance to keep an industry, you've got to do what you can to take care of them."

Simmons said the current treatment plant is in need of upgrades to meet new EPA and state environmental guidelines.

He said building a new plant is a win-win.

"This just opens up new avenues for us," Simmons said. "[SRG Global has] been a great partnership here with the city of Portageville. Not only do they supply jobs here for here in Portageville, all around the community people come here to work."

The mayor said about 400 people currently work out of the SRG Global Portageville facility.

No word yet on how many new jobs an expansion would create.

The project for a new waste water plant is estimated to cost about $5 million.

The state has already pledged $2 million through a Community Development Block Grant.

Simmons said, as it stands, if the bond passes, residents could see a $12-15 increase on their monthly sewage bills.

However, he said he's hopeful that cost will go down once the city hears back on state and federal grants it applied for to help with the cost.

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