5-year plan for Seligman water system set

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Seligman estimates $572,000 in the bank by 2023

The city of Seligman has been working toward a new and upgraded backbone for the water system, and has put in place a five-year plan to increase the water rates by $5 each year for a total of about $572,000 to make it possible.

Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said 2018 was the first year that the $5 increase was implemented.

“By the end of 2018, we were able to [save] $38,145,” he said. “By 2023, we expect to have an estimated $572,000 to begin work on the water system.”

Nichols said that is enough money in savings to be able to take care of the new water tower immediately.

“Plus, that puts our rates to where we can afford to pay for the upgrades that will happen then,” he said. “As of right now, it is a $2.6 million project. There is no telling where that cost will end up being, but this puts us where we need to be to make those payments every month.”

Nichols said that paying for the project the way it is planned will take about 20 years to pay off.

“By 2023, there may be some minor per-gallon rate changes or overage as we call it,” he said. “Right now, we include 2,000 gallons with the base water bill, and they may increase the rate per 1,000 gallons. There are a lot of different options and ways this could go.”

Nichols said there is also a grant available through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $500,000.

“That is a grant that we would absolutely qualify for if we applied for that grant to do this project today,” he said. “With that it is all state funding, but we haven’t applied for it yet. We were a shoo-in for it if we were to go ahead and proceed with the project.”

Nichols said he has no doubt that that grant will still be available when the city is ready to start the project.

“Once the rates are where they need to be, then we can start the project,” he said. “In 2020, we are going to be talking to an engineer to start the project.”

Nichols said that the water study that was done in 2016 will no longer be good by that time.

“They only last for two years,” he said. “So we will have to do that again, and we are looking at another $30,000 grant to apply for then for an engineer to come in do another survey of the system and submit that information to DNR.”

Nichols said that from that, the city can then apply for the grants.

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