City’s smelly situation

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City’s smelly situation

Local sewer upgrades may cost $55 million
Finding the resources to finance $55M project

The sewer-plant improvements, estimated to cost $55 million, make the rehabilitation effort the most expensive construction project in Durango history.
Its estimated cost would be more than the Durango Parks and Recreation Center and more than the reconstruction of Florida Road.
This has raised an important question for Durango City Council: How will the city pay for it?
Substantial rate increases are likely to be phased in during 2016 and 2017, and City Council plans to discuss newly revised fee proposals Tuesday night.
The council has largely rejected a 100 percent rate increase in 2016, and it has requested a tiered structure, based on usage.
The current financing structure, proposed by consultants also calls for a bond issuance to go before the voters in 2016 before construction starts.
If rates are not increased, the city could not be issued a bond because it could not meet its legal cash-flow requirements, said Mary Beth Miles, assistant to the city manager.
Also important to note, the project cost was recently revised from $45 million to $55 million to factor in engineering costs.
mshinn@durangoherald.com

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