Cost Of Improving Hits Property Owners

Another phase of a debt service fee goes into effect in Plattsmouth on October 1st.

The new fee will be in addition to the phase 1 fee that went into effect in October of 2009. With the staggered billing, customers will start seeing the new increase on their November or December city utility bills.

The phase 1 fee was $4.00 monthly. The Cassgram reports the cost of the $3 million phase 1 on Main Street and 6th Street downtown was helped by a $1.2 million grant through a federal earmark requested by U.S. Senator Ben Nelson.

There are no grants for phase 2 at this point. Itinvolves some sewer separation on Washington Avenue from the Main Street corridor to 11th Street and on Chicago Avenue south to 8th Avenue.

The tentative plan calls for the bidding process to be completed in January 2012 with construction from April 2012 to October 2012. The preliminary estimate is for a total cost of $2.5 million. The project engineer has said the construction should not be as disruptive as the Main Street corridor work. There are areas on Washington and Chicago where the sanitary and storm sewers are already separated and efforts will be made to limit the amount of construction under the streets, utilizing the sidewalks and other right-of-way where possible.

In the newly adopted 2011-12 city budget that goes into effect October 1st, a new debt service fee of $5.75 will be imposed to pay the loan for phase 2, making the total monthly debt service fee for phases 1 and 2 $9.75 monthly.

“It is not a perpetual fee,” when the debt is eliminated several years from now, the fees will no longer be imposed, said City Administrator Erv Portis

In a memo to the mayor and council, Portis reminded them that original estimates several years ago were that the total CSO debt fee service for utility customers would be in the $18 to $20 a month range.

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