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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Sewer rate increases approved for St. James

  • The St. James City Council on Monday night approved a 20 percent sewer rate increase per year over the next three years.
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  • The St. James City Council on Monday night approved a 20 percent sewer rate increase per year over the next three years.
    The new rate, which becomes effective Oct. 1, will add 20 percent to the current rate, which is a $7.51 minimum and 25 cents per 100 gallons of treated wastewater.
    The rate increase was passed to help fund the sewer bond issue, which was also passed at the meeting.
    City Administrator Jeff Davis prior to the vote said this action was taken in anticipation of another bond issuance in 2015.
    Also approved by the council was the proposal for underwriting for the sewer bonds.
    The total debt service of just more than $4 million will be underwritten by Stern Brothers with an annual debt service of $210,000. The total bond issue will be $2.8 million.
    The bonds will cover $750,000 to purchase new pumps and ultraviolet treatment apparatus at the sewer treatment plant and $1.6 million needed for sewage collection system improvements.
    The council will also meet on July 23 to discuss an earlier action relative to general obligation refunding bonds.
    Joy Howard of WM Financial Strategies, who serves as financial adviser for the City of St. James, told the council that recent "bad news" from the Federal Reserve Bank has left the market in crisis, greatly reducing the amount of savings said action would offer the city.
    Initially, the city planned to reissue the bonds at a lower interest rate, saving more than $100,000 after expenses, but the “crisis” reduced the savings to about $60,000.
    “Absent a significant change, I'm not ready to come back to the council unless we can at least get $100,000 in savings," Howard said.
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