Purdy seeks sewer funding

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Present grants, loans would push local rates to $73 a month

Purdy city officials continue to seek funding before moving forward with plans to build a sewer pipeline to Monett, a plan approved by voters on Nov. 3, 2015.

Mayor Steve Roden said the city was working with its engineers at Allgeier, Martin and Associates to secure funding for the $4.6 million project. Funding options for grants and loans through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have varied since offered last year.

Roden said the city has a chance at securing a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant. According to Chris Erisman, engineer with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, the grant will hinge on an upcoming income survey in the Purdy community that will document the need and ability to pay higher costs. Erisman said the city has a good shot at qualifying for more funding.

To date, the city has secured a $1.7 million grant through Rural Development and a $2.4 million low-interest loan, though the exact interest rate has not been finalized.

To qualify for federal funding, residents in Purdy are expected to meet national averages for sewer expenses, which would be 2 percent of the town residents' median income. Current funding options would force the city to raise sewer raises from the present $40 a month for a typical residential bill, not to 2 percent, or approximately $60, but to $73 a month, or 2.8 percent.

"That seems unaffordable for 377 customers," Roden said. "That's a little higher than I want. I'm going to meet with State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, [R-Shell Knob], at the end of the month to see if there's any more money available. We're getting close. We just need a little more help."

Engineers are finishing plans for the 12-inch sewer pipeline that will run approximately seven miles to the Monett wastewater treatment plant. DNR will have to approve the plans prior to seeking bids.

Construction is expected to take approximately one year. Purdy's wastewater lagoon will remain connected and in place to help in high water events, but will not be used except in emergencies.

Roden said that sewer system had an overflow during the Dec. 26 and 27, 2015, flooding, prompting a report to DNR.

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