Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hailey set to decide on sewer bond

Wastewater facility could cost up to $6 million

Express Staff Writer

    The Hailey City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday, March 20, at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall to decide whether to place a bond measure on the May ballot to raise up to $6 million for a new “biosolids” facility at the city’s Woodside wastewater treatment plant.
    State law requires majority approval for passage of the revenue bond. If it passes, the city would raise property taxes to cover the cost of replacing a fiberglass dome built in the 1970s, with a new “de-watering” facility that would greatly reduce the number of tanker truck trips carrying sludge from Woodside to the Ohio Gulch landfill.
    The city has spent $300,000 on engineering studies for the proposed project. HDR Engineering presented “90 percent accurate cost estimates” for the new facility Monday to the City Council, stating that the new facility would cost from $5.2 million to $6 million.
    Financial advisors will attend the Thursday meeting with final cost estimates and a proposed bond term, which is expected to be between 20 and 30 years.
    City Administrator Heather Dawson said in an interview that the City Council will be advised Thursday on the resulting property tax increase the bond would cost Hailey residents.
    Dawson said on Tuesday that financial advisors are expected to recommend a 23-year or 24-year bond, but would not speculate on the amount of tax increase that the bond would bring to Hailey residents.
    Former Public Works Director Tom Hellen said in 2103 that a $4 million bond would result in an increase of $7 per month for a 20-year bond.

In other Hailey news:

  • Councilman Pat Cooley was appointed to replace Susan McBryant as the city’s liaison with the Freidman Memorial Airport Authority board of directors.
  • The City Council passed into law a new noise ordinance that would restrict the sound level of outdoor concerts to 90 decibels at the property boundary. The new law will be re-evaluated after the summer concert season.    

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