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Ag Park needs will increase FD water, sewer budgets

Officials: Homeowners will not be affected

December 18, 2012
By BILL SHEA ( , Messenger News

The startup of the Cargill and CJ Bio America plants west of Fort Dodge will more than double the demand for water and sanitary sewer service, the Fort Dodge City Council learned Monday evening.

And although those increased demands will result in more expenses, the costs related directly to serving those big industrial customers will not be passed on to homeowners, according to an engineer who worked on designing and financing improvements to the water and sanitary sewer systems.

''This budget matches what they're contractually required to pay you,'' Derick Anderson, the local manager of McClure Engineering Co., told the City Council Monday night.

That doesn't mean homeowners will avoid any rate increases in the next year.

Sanitary sewer rates will rise 3 percent on July 1 as a result of action taken last year by the council.

And the proposed water system budget for 2013-2014 envisions a 2.5 percent rate increase.

Council members reviewed proposed budgets for the water and sanitary sewer systems as they began working on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013, and ends June 30, 2014. The budget must be approved by mid-March to comply with state law.

Sanitary sewer system

The proposed budget for the sanitary sewer system is $8,522,297.

That's a hefty increase from the current budget of $6,254,639.

The cost of operating the wastewater treatment plant at 1801 Ave. B to handle the sewage from the Cargill and CJ Bio America plants accounts for much of the increase.

Jeff DuPont, the vice president of USW Utility Group, the company that operates the plant, said a second shift will begin working there.

He told the council that the company plans to hire five more people, including two plant operators, a mechanic, an industrial pretreatment coordinator who will work with some local businesses on wastewater treatment issues, and a laboratory technician.

He added that an additional $200,000 worth of treatment chemicals will have to be purchased.

Water system budget

The proposed water system budget is $6,806,196.

That's well up from the current budget of $4,839,468.

City Manager David Fierke said the electricity bill at the John W. Pray Water Facility on Phinney Park Drive is expected to double to $600,000 annually.

The spending plan includes $183,400 to operate a booster pump station at the North Central Ag Industrial Park. It also has $100,000 for well maintenance.

Water revenue will be used to pay for two light duty trucks, according to the budget proposal.



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