Bond issue seems likely for city’s South Plant

In order to get a major expansion to Richmond’s South Waste Water Plant, it is going to have to get the approval of the people.
During a presentation from Professional Engineer Jeff Thorn last Thursday, council members discussed the upcoming probability of a bond issue being taken to the voters in August.
The city will essentially be asking for permission to borrow at least $6 million or possibly more for a major expansion to the South Plant and upgrades for new disinfection regulations that have been put in place by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The city’s North Waste Water Plant has been ordered to upgrade to an ultraviolet light system. Estimates for the UV system are anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million. The city has three years to make the switch.
Until the August vote arrives, the city must quickly decide if they want to take a gamble and hire Thorn’s firm, Ollson Associates, to begin putting together a facility plan. Thorn said a facility plan is an overall plan and scope of the project that can be taken to voters and DNR for approval. An initial facility plan could cost at least $30,000.
Thorn said without a facility plan in place DNR would not approve a plan. Without a plan approved there is no money or project.
“The bond issue itself just shows the state you are serious about what you’re doing,” Thorn said.
City officials will have to convince voters, who just last year approved a new tax for parks, that the project is necessary.
City Administrator Rick Childers said last month the South Plant could handle more development – but not a lot more – after the announcement of new construction for a Taco Bell/KFC next to Subway on Highway 13. He said the system could not hold a facility that houses 400 people, but did say the system could handle 10 developments with 40 people. In other words, the system could not handle a large discharge all at once.
Childers has also previously said the south end of Richmond is the ideal area for expansion.

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