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Voters to Decide on Wastewater Bond

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Twin Falls voters will soon be deciding on the future of the wastewater treatment facility plant.

Last month, city council members unanimously voted to include a bond to improve the facility on the May ballot.

The facility was built in 1965.

The city has made minor repairs throughout the years, but it's been about three decades since the last major upgrade.

$38 million over the next 20 years…

That's the revenue bond city council members are asking Twin Falls' voters to approve.

"Our wastewater treatment plant is currently at its committed capacity. On a daily basis we flow about 75%; however, we've made allocations and made commitments that exceed the 90% mark," said Travis Rothweiler, Twin Falls City Manager.

As Rothweiler explains, when operating at that capacity the department of environmental quality requires you to be under construction.

"It's going to have a maximum capacity of about 18.5 million gallons with a current plant being able to treat about 9.6 million," said Rothweiler.

In January, a citizens advisory committee was formed to analyze the infrastructure of the plant.

"We considered a lot of different details about the technology involved, the costs involved, the length of time involved and the costs to the citizens like us in the community," said Lori Ward, Twin Falls Citizens Advisory Committee on Wastewater Infrastructure.

The expansion is expected to handle growth over the next twenty years.

The additional cost to citizens will be $5.21 a month.

"It will move the average monthly rate to approximately $24 a month, which is still among the lowest in Idaho and the Magic Valley," said Rothweiler.

But, the question remains, why now?

"This is a great time because the cost of money is at an all time low. It's only going to up and with this much money a little change in interest rates is a big deal," said Ward.

The goal?

Keeping the costs to citizens as low as possible.

The election will be held on May 21st at your regular polling place.

If you'd like more information on the bond and the facility there will be an open house at City Council Chambers on May 8th and 16th.


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