On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council gave unanimous approval on second and third readings to authorize the issuance of $1.665 million in revenue bonds to fund city-wide water and wastewater improvements.


On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council gave unanimous approval on second and third readings to authorize the issuance of $1.665 million in revenue bonds to fund city-wide water and wastewater improvements.

The bonds will be to update the city’s pre-World War II wastewater system. The city is borrowing $8.5 million from the state’s revolving fund for the project, but because of federal stimulus monies, distribution of those funds has been postponed from this spring until summer.

City Manager Jan Blase previously told the council the city needs to move forward on installing sewer interceptors that lie under the proposed La-Z-Boy Parkway as it promised citizens it would do so.

“This bond will be paid off when the revolving loan funds are issued,” Blase said. “The city has met all the requirements to receive the revolving loan funds and there is no reason to believe that the city will not benefit from the revolving loan fund.”

Neosho is borrowing the money at 2 percent interest.

The first phase of the project includes replacing 18-inch interceptor lines with 36- and 48-inch pipes; building a retention basin to hold spillover sewage and storm water for chemical treatment; and modernizing controls at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

City officials have previously noted that during heavy rains the city’s wastewater system backs up and eventually overflows as rainwater infiltrates the sewer lines, after the aged concrete pipe and seals fail to keep it out. Not only do the undersize collection pipes overflow and spill out through manholes, but the wastewater treatment plant is also unable to handle the volume of sewage that is increased with the storm water.

The council also approved, on second and third readings, a user charge system to provide funds to pay expenses related with the city’s wastewater treatment works, including operating, maintaining and retiring the debt.

All users would be charged a minimum of $6.23 a month plus a unit charge of $3.32 per 1,000 gallons of water discharged. Under another ordinance approved on first reading Tuesday, rates for 3,000 gallons will increase from $10.19 to $16.20, while rates for 5,000 gallons will go up from $13.33 to $22.84. Those who go beyond normal domestic usage would be also be charged 20 cents per pound for biochemical oxygen demand and 16 cents per pound for suspended solids. Those who discharge toxic pollutants into the wastewater system that cause an increase in the cost of treatment will pay for those costs. These costs would be determined by personnel from the treatment plant and the city council.

Users will be billed monthly, with meters to be read the first two weeks of the month and bills sent out on the first of the following month. Payments are due on or by the 15th of each month.

The city will review the user charge system each year and revise rates as necessary.
More on the city council meeting will be in Friday’s edition of the Neosho Daily News.