Purdy hosting bond issue meetings

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Purdy City Council has scheduled two public meetings to discuss the Nov. 3 bond issue to build a pipeline to send the city's sewage to Monett for treatment.

The first public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Purdy Community Center. At that meeting, the city will have its attorney and a representative from the enforcement division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to explain the significance of the vote.

The city has called a special election for Nov. 3 to vote on $4.6 million in revenue bonds to build the sewer pipeline due to the city's lagoon treatment plant not reducing the chemical content of the effluent. Rising standards for the city's wastewater permit have placed limits the city cannot meet with its present system.

The election is being held at the first opportunity, due to the availability of federal and state funds to reduce the cost of the project. If voters approve the bond issue, the city will apply for $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant money, along with a grant from DNR for $3,010,725. DNR is also prepared to loan the city $1,003,575 at low interest rates, using its State Revolving Fund.

However, DNR has directed the city to seek bond authorization for enough money to cover the entire project with no state or federal funding. The project is estimated to cost $4.5 million, and the bond issue has an extra $100,000 included for contingencies.

Council members discussed a brochure under preparation to explain the election to residents. The engineering firm of Allgeier, Martin and Associates prepared the draft, with additions from the city's attorney and the council. The brochure will be completed and distributed prior to the meeting.

Mayor Steve Roden said not all of the representatives may be available to attend a second session. Aldermen agreed to hold another session at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27, also at the Community Building.

Without passage, the city may be forced by DNR to take action and pay fines for failure to correct the situation. With passage, the city will be able to again annex neighboring subdivisions and add sewer customers. The city's sewage would be processed by Monett's wastewater treatment plant, which has significantly increased capacity due to the shutdown of the Dairy Farmers of America plant.

Since the city council called for the special election in August, Roden said he had received no feedback from the public or questions about the proposal.

"I don't know if its the quiet before the storm," Roden said.

"I don't think people are paying attention," said Alderman Wayne Rupp.

Timing of the first meeting will give council members an opportunity to evaluate public sentiment at their regular monthly meeting on Oct. 12. The second session on Oct. 27, one week before the election, will offer another chance to promote the plan.

Roden said the bond issue includes funds to buy easements on land paralleling the Arkansas Missouri Railroad line. Under the plan, the pipeline would come into Monett next to the railroad, then connect to a pump station that would run from South Park to the wastewater treatment plant.

A simple majority is needed for passage.

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