“The city simply does not have the resources to comply with EPA’s consent order without raising water and wastewater rates to close to $100 per month in order to fix our out of date system.”
It is my opinion that Bolivar does have the means to make recommended repairs to bring our WWTP into compliance.
I reference the month of October 2019 (city of Bolivar figures).
Note: these numbers are roughly rounded.
Revenue: $355,000. Expense: $305,000. Net profit: $50,000. Therefore, considering these numbers remain somewhat consistent, this would realize a net profit of around $600,000 per year, plus the board has authorized, through the budget, to transfer $240,000 from water and sewer accounts to the general fund account. If the city didn’t take from these funds, it should leave around $840,000 profit to start making needed improvements to WWTP. Note: These figures represent what our current rate for water and sewer charges are.
To complete phase one of the recommended schedule of repairs to WWTP, cost $2.9 million, and has a five-year window for completion. Using the $840,000 over the next five years for this project should amount to around $4.2 million, which pays for phase one with $1.3 million left over for phase two.
The report received by Liberty from their contracted adviser on feasibility to purchase Bolivar’s WWTP and water system is in very good condition, well maintained and operated. Recommend BUY.
I have no doubt that Liberty is very capable to operate the system, but then, so is our city. So the question becomes, do the people of Bolivar want LOCAL control of their waste water and water system, that can operate at break even OR do they want a large corporation (headquarters in Canada) that operates representing stockholders who expect a reasonable rate of return on their investment? Note: At city hearing, Liberty could not answer the question of what they thought a reasonable expected rate was.
Note 1: A public traded entity pays property tax. This tax is estimated to add around $200,000 to Bolivar schools.
Note 2: A franchise fee of 5% of gross goes to the city.
Both the aforementioned have benefits, but both are hidden taxes that will affect water and sewer users bills. Either way you decide to go, the people using the system will pay the final bill.
— John F. George and Arleen Ferguson, Bolivar