Voters to decide on Jackson wastewater treatment plant upgrades

The question on the ballot asks voters if they would approve to borrow $10.1 million to repair, rebuild and replace the aging infrastructure.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 3:20 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - Voters in Jackson, Missouri will be going to the polls on Tuesday to vote on improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.

The question on the ballot asks voters if they would approve to borrow $10.1 million to repair, rebuild and replace the aging infrastructure. This will also expand the existing 33-year-old equipment at the plant.

This would be a no tax rate increase upgrade to the plant, which has reached its life expectancy and capacity.

If approved, only sewer fees will be used to repay the bond issue with a 10 percent rate increase or an average of $3.15 per 5,000 gallons per month household.

“It needs a lot of work, a lot of repairs,” Jackson Public Works Director Kent Peetz said. “We are going to repair, replace and upgrade the equipment in the existing tankage. Without building more tanks, we can put new technology, modern technology, into the same footprint. We can reduce the electric use while increasing the capacity to treat wastewater.”

If voters approve, this will give the city of Jackson permission to apply for a low-interest loan via revenue bonds.

“We can take out a low interest loan from the State of Missouri who will subsidize the interest by 70 percent,” Peetz said. “So we would pay 30 percent of the interest that we would normally pay and by saving 70 percent of the interest on $10 million over 20 years, that is most likely over $2 million that we can save our citizens.”

If voters decide not to approve, this denies the City of Jackson permission to apply for the low-interest loan.

“If we don’t do this, where we can sell the bonds, take out the low-interest loan, and keep the expenses down that way, if we have to just raise rates and do this a little bit at a time, it won’t get done as fast and it will cost more,” Peetz said.

This question requires a 4/7ths or a 57.14 percent “yes” vote to pass.

The official ballot language for the bond question is as follows:

Shall the City of Jackson, Missouri, issue its combine waterworks and sewerage system revenue bonds in the amount of $10,100,000.00 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, extending, and improving the combined waterworks and sewerage system of the City; the cost of operation and maintenance of said system and the principal of and interest on said revenue bonds to be payable solely from the revenues derived by the City from the operation of its combined waterworks and sewerage system, including all future extensions and improvements thereto?

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