City bond issue

What you'll see on the ballot:

Proposition 1
Shall the city of Columbia, Missouri, issue its Sewer System Revenue Bonds in the amount of $77 million for the purpose of constructing, improving, reparing, rehabilitating, replacing, equipping, expanding and extending the City-owned wastewater treatment facility and the sanitary sewer collection system.

How the money would be spent:
The $77 million spending plan includes $67 million for projects at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and $10 million to finance upgrades to the city's collection system.

The projects at the Wastewater Treatment Plant are:

  • $18.7 million to add a third mechanical treatment "train"— a series of clarifying and aeration tanks — so that if one of the existing treatment trains goes offline or needs maintenance, the treatment capacity will not be disrupted. The "train" would also remove ammonia.

  • $14.4 million to meet new regulatory requirements by removing ammonia from effluent by adding a fourth mechanical treatment train.

    The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has indicated that beginning in 2013, the effluent that discharges into the Eagle Bluff Conservation Area will be required to meet an ammonia limit of 6 milligrams per liter or less.

  • $16 million to rehabilitate parts of the parts of the facility that have been in use snce 1983.

  • $7.1 million to add a new grit handling system to take out sand and dirt, which would increase the plant's efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

  • $6.9 million on the processing of biosolids — also called sludge — to remove the existing sludge-holding lagoon, reduce truck traffic, increse biosolids disposal options, reduce odors and reduce biosolids hauling costs. The city delivers the sludge to farmers, who have requested it, free of charge. New equuipment would increase the solid-to-liquid ratio, meaning trucks could compost the sludge or put it in a landfill as well as continue applying it to farm fields.

  • $3.9 million to add an odor control system to collect and treat air from the treatment plant and reduce odors in nearby neighborhoods.

The upgrades to the city's collection system are:

  • $3 million in reserve funds to extend city sewer lines to future employment centers.

  • $4 million to eliminate private common collectors — sewer lines that are not publicly owned and sere two or more properties — by connecting them to the city sewer lines. This project would provide fund for a 5-year program to replace or repair sewer mains and manholes that are in poor condition and an investigation of outside sources of fluid inflow and infiltration through smoke testing, dye water testing, televtision inspections and building inspections.

  • $3 million in reserve funds for yet-to-be-identified projects that the City Council can use to dictate where new sewer lines can be built.