Gooding Water Bond: It's Up To The Voters

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By Joey Martin

Gooding, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) On November 5th, voters in the City of Gooding will be asked to approve a 5-million dollar Water Bond.

Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News was in Gooding and sat down with a city representative to discuss the bond.

He also spoke with local residents on how the bond would affect them.

Over 70 years ago, the city of Gooding installed their current potable water system.

Fast forward to today.

The water system that residents rely on for watering their lawns and taking showers has deteriorated to the point that the department of environmental quality is stepping in.

That's why on November 5th the city is asking voters to approve a 5–million dollar Water Bond.

"What we're asking the 5–million dollar bond to achieve is we're eliminating the surface irrigation system in Gooding, which is over 70 years old. Part of the 5–million dollar bond will be to drill two new wells. This will give us the necessary upgrades and so on to put us 20 to 25 years down the road."
Said Vern France, President of the Gooding City Council.

Along with the two new wells, upgrades will also be made to multiple pumps.

And with that, Gooding would then be in compliance with DEQ standards.

If the 5–million dollar bond is passed on November 5th, local residents can see an estimated $9.81 increase to their monthly bills.

I spoke with a few local residents and asked them is this a necessary evil to help fix their ailing water system?

"Well... I can only speak for myself, I would be comfortable paying it because having used the system for many years, it really needs improvements and its really old, it really needs to be replace... if it does fail, then what would we do?"
Said Gooding Resident Tracie Anderson.

"You know, it could have went higher on the bond... it could have went lower... This is the middle ground. So we can only hope that they can fix as much as they can fix with a $10 increase."
Said Gooding Resident Stanley Romans.

French agrees that the almost $10 increase is a lot to handle.

But says the price of doing nothing could be much more.

"We recognize... especially for some of the senior citizens that the $9 or $10 a month is an added burden. But this is a project that dearly need to be done and that doubt we will ever have another opportunity to do it with funds that will be cheaper then what we can borrow at this point in time"
Said France.

If voters approve the bond, the DEQ would then loan the city the 5 million dollars for the upgrades.

"One of the most attractive parts about that is that... that 5–million dollars is at a 1 ½ % interest rate. which is extremely reasonable for the present time."
Said France.

A necessary investment that will protect Gooding’s water for decades to come.

Along with the bond, the city is also applying though the department of water resources to use the city's water rights for aquifer recharge.

If that is approved, it would mitigate the city from having to buy other potable water right.

Saving 2-million dollars that is set aside to buy the water rights for the two new pumps.

That 2-million could then be used for further upgrades to their current system.


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