An increase in stormwater rates and a bond issue are among the proposed payment routes for a project that will improve Logansport Municipal Utilities’ stormwater and wastewater capabilities.
The project will bring two new clarifiers to LMU’s wastewater treatment plant while converting and retrofitting its existing two to allow for improved removal of solids deposited by sedimentation during high flow conditions. It will also upgrade the facility’s sludge processing capabilities, ultimately resulting in better phosphate removal from the semi-solid material left from wastewater.
The high flow/wet weather portion of the project ties into the city’s ongoing projects to comply with a federally unfunded mandate to overhaul its water and stormwater systems, Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Paul Hartman said. He added the improved sludge-processing capabilities will allow LMU to continue to adhere to the permitting process with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The projects are estimated to cost a total of about $7.8 million. Proposed funding includes ten percent of this amount coming from LMU’s depreciation replacement fund, which the Logansport Utility Service Board approved unanimously at its April meeting. The rest, as outlined in a report prepared by Crowe Horwath LLP, a financial consulting firm out of Indianapolis, is being proposed to come from about an 18.5-percent increase in stormwater rates, a $6.39-million bond issue from the Indiana State Revolving Fund Loan Program and $1.5 million from LMU’s sewage works fund.
This approximate 18 percent increase in rates translates to monthly increases of $1.38 for residential customers, $8.18 for small commercial, $18.24 for medium commercial, $32.75 for large commercial, $11.47 for small industrial, $40.93 for large industrial and $6.90 for institutional. It would be the first rate change since July 2012.
Hartman said the longer LMU waits to take on these projects, the more expensive they will be.
“I’m trying to do these projects now to save money,” he said. “I’m trying to abate as much as I can.”