Anniston residents to vote on bonds for sewer system
Monday, November 7, 2011
ANNISTON, Mo. -- Voters in the Mississippi County town of Anniston will decide on a bond issue to bring its sewer system up to state standards during Tuesday's general election.
Anniston voters will choose whether to issue $900,000 in revenue bonds for the city's sewer system.
The Missouri "Department of Natural Resources has implemented some new rules and regulations, and we have to update our sewer system," city clerk Jeannie Thurman said.
The bonds will be paid off with revenue from the operation of the sewer system.
According to a flier distributed to town residents, the DNR will not renew the city's operating permit unless upgrades are made, which could lead to fines and ultimately a takeover of the system. The DNR's requirements become effective May 13, 2013.
City officials said the issue will not increase property taxes.
The revenue bonds would be used to help pay for the repair and upgrade the existing city treatment plant, with much of the focus being on the lagoon system, Thurman said. The city council will only issue what is necessary to make the improvements to meet state and federal guidelines.
In addition to holding a public hearing Oct. 4 for the town's 285 residents, fliers were also passed out to residents.
"We just hope they pass it so the city won't be responsible for the whole amount. We have put it in for a grant and don't know what will happen with that," Thurman said.
The waste water project may qualify for special state and federal programs that offer below-market interests rates, but the bonds must be approved first.
If bonds do not pass, the city can be forced to rebuild its facility without subsidized interest, without grants and without the help of various agents that require bonds to be voted before it can qualify for any grants or other governments services, according to city officials.
If the issue doesn't pass on Tuesday, Thurman anticipates the issue will return on future ballots.
"If it doesn't pass, that means it will fall back on the residents to pay for it. I've tried to inform the citizens," Thurman said. "I guess we'll know Tuesday what they think."
In Scott County, there is only one municipal race for Tuesday's election.
Miner registered voters will vote on whether to enact a one-fourth of 1 percent sales tax for the operation of the municipal fire department. A city official said the funds would be strictly for the use of the operation and upkeep of the fire department.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Polling stations will be at respective city halls for Miner and Anniston residents.