Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hailey seeks $6.5M for sewer upgrade

City voters to consider bond measure Tuesday

Express Staff Writer

The city of Hailey is seeking a bond measure to pay for replacement of its wastewater treatment dome in Woodside, above. Express file photo

    On Tuesday, May 20, Hailey voters will go to the polls to decide whether to approve a revenue bond that would raise up to $6.5 million to upgrade the city’s Woodside wastewater treatment facility. City leaders and public works employees say the upgrade is necessary to replace an aging and obsolete fiberglass dome that is a safety hazard to employees.
    “The dome has far exceeded its life cycle. … [I]t is both unsafe and inefficient,” states a letter from the Hailey mayor and City Council.
    If a majority of Hailey voters support the bond measure, average ratepayers (using 6,000 gallons per month) will see a rate increase of about $3.50 per month. A voter-approved revenue bond would allow the city to borrow enough funds to build the project this year and next, but will spread its cost over 20 years.
    City leaders proposed the bond measure to replace a green fiberglass dome built in 1974 and repurposed in 2000 as a “dewatering facility.” They say a new dewatering facility would reduce sludge tanker trips to the Ohio Gulch dump site from eight per week to one.
    According to a flyer on the city website, the dome was central to the original treatment plant, but is not able to function as a dewatering facility.
    “When we haul the solids to the landfill, we are hauling 99 percent liquid and only 1 percent solids,” the website states. “If approved, the new facility would reduce the amount of liquids in the solids, which would provide a safer and more efficient product to handle and dispose of.”
    Registered Hailey voters can cast ballots on the bond measure Tuesday at the Community Campus in Hailey, 1050 Fox Acres Road, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    Early votes can be cast at the Blaine County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday.
Tony Evans:

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