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Hardin to explore all options before moving forward with water connection

Discussions about paying off the city’s water plant and tower continued on Monday night, but no action was taken.
The city is at the point now where an engineering study is needed before funding can be pursued to hook onto the Ray County Rural Water District No. 2 system. In addition, the city would like to replace the city’s aging water line system.
Alderman Randy Estenbaum suggested last month that the city use savings to pay off the bond the city has on the water tower and plant earlier to get into better position to obtain grant funding.
Last month the city received a quote to update the city’s engineering plan that was designed in 2002 for $4,000. However, the city decided Monday night to first talk with an engineer familiar with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to get a rough estimate on how much the whole project might cost. The concern was that the city might find out that the costs are overwhelming.
“We’re not in a position to just shell that out anyway,” Alderman Colin Chang said about spending a six-figure amount on the water system. “We’re going to be looking for a grant. We’re not going to be able to do anything without a dollar amount.”
City Clerk Patty Lam said she had spoken with the city’s bond administrator and confirmed the city can pay off the bond early. However, she said the city would have to put another bond vote to the public in August.
Mayor Bob McCorkendale suggested speaking with Mid America Regional Council grant writer Molly McGovern before going too far.
“If you want to get any community block grants you’re going to have to have that engineering report,” McCorkendale said. “She may say we’re in a floodway and we don’t have a shot.”

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