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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Purdy voters defeat $2.5 million bond issue

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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Residents in Purdy voted down the city's proposed fix of the sewer system on Tuesday. The $2.5 million bond issue failed by a 40-53 vote.

"I'm kind of disappointed," said Mayor Ron Dutra. "It was close. We didn't know which way it would go."

The voter turnout was relatively low, compared to the 122 votes cast in the 2005 election for mayor. The city will not have a chance to build on the 43 percent support any time soon. The deadline to file an issue for the August primary was May 25. Issues on the November ballot must be filed by Aug. 24.

The city had proposed a $3.5 million solution to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' changing standards for the municipal wastewater treatment system. Under the city's new wastewater permit, discharges from the wastewater lagoon will have to meet higher standards for losing streams. To address reduced irrigation onto fields near the wastewater lagoon, the city proposed adding another 80 acres for irrigation that would be linked by around two miles of additional pipe.

"We'll drop back and punt," Dutra said, "and try again. We're having our engineer look over what else we can do."

Dutra said the city would advance plans to reduce inflow and infiltration of storm water into the sanitary sewer system.

"We'll move forward with that and make people feel more comfortable with what we're doing," Dutra said.

The biggest consequence of the election defeat will likely be the loss of grant money for the project through the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program. Bruce Hively with Rural Development told those attending the last public hearing that the city could secure $1.1 million in grant money by passing the measure. If the issue did not pass, Hively said the funding would have to be released back to Washington, D.C. Rural Development also would not give the city a loan for the project without an additional grant.

"We had 2.5 percent interest on the loan locked in," Dutra said. "That's as good as it gets. I don't really know what we'll get now."

Council members will discuss options at the regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Dutra had asked the city's engineering firm, Allgeier, Martin and Associates, to have information available to review. The meeting will also include preliminary budget discussions.



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