With fees already increasing, Mayor
"We've had some positive meetings, and that's the good thing," he said.
"Having these ideas and some of these changes come about, they have got to happen quickly," he said. "We have got to have some feasible ideas that will help reduce the cost to us and to them as long as it doesn't negatively impact the rest of the city and the rest of the users. We want to do what is best for the whole city."
The city violated 1,500 regulations in 2010 when an overflow discharged untreated effluent into a canal. The
When voters rejected the bond issue, the council sought and won judicial confirmation to bond for
In the first phase, the city will borrow about
That bond bank is rated better and garners a better interest rate than if the city were to go it alone, said city Finance Director
The city had to raise sewer rates before applying for the bond to show it could cover the plant's operation and maintenance. On average, industrial users' rates increased 50 percent and a household's monthly bill rose by
He said the city shouldn't have to raise rates again to cover the 25-year bond, but the situation will be reviewed annually to ensure that.
"They hadn't raised the rates for quite a while, but we don't anticipate raising rates again for this bond," Richman said. "You always want to look at your maintenance and operation and make sure you are covering the debt."
Projects associated with the first phase will be completed next year, he said. Later, the city will bond for the remainder of the
Usually, cities bond for the whole amount at once, but Jerome didn't have enough revenue to do that, Richman said. The two-phase bonding structure, though, will give the city time to look for cost savings.
Bonney said the borrowed money can only be used for the project that won judicial confirmation, but the city could expand the plant with any other revenues it gets. Savings from the second phase of the bond, however, wouldn't be stranded in city coffers.
"They may be either able to refund or defease some of the bond, meaning pre-pay them," she said. "Or it goes back into the bond fund and is used to make payments for the bond. That's all they can do with (saved) money. They legally aren't allowed to do anything else."
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