The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


January 19, 2013

Sewer accounts for most of borrowing

CLINTON — An examination of the city’s outstanding obligation report reveals an apparent imbalance. Sewers accounted for 80 percent of the city of Clinton’s outstanding debt at the end of last fiscal year. Of the $89 million in sewer revenue bonds and general obligation bonds combined, $70.9 million paid for sewer projects.   

This borrowing is reflected in customer’s sewer rates, which are obligated to pay what the city borrows in sewer revenue bonds.  While city officials say they are working to deflect any future rate increases as a result of mandated sewer projects, more borrowing for these types of projects will occur in order to comply with the long-term control plan laid out by the Iowa DNR and EPA for keeping pollutants out of the Mississippi River.

“It’s the circumstances we’re in,” City Finance Director Jessica Kinser said. “It is a big number, but the city has signed a consent decree saying we will do these things. That’s the circumstance of our time.”

Under threat of fines or court action, the city is required to complete a number of expensive projects. The plan requires the city to spend an estimated $95 to $105 million over the next 25 years on various projects to reduce the amount of combined sewer overflow events that end in waste, debris and other material being deposited into the river.  

“You can kind of tell who has had to do some improvements to their system and who hasn’t. Unless somebody’s kept up and made improvements every 30 or 50 have to pay for it at sometime,” Kinser said.

 Work on the projects listed in the plan began on June 1 and will conclude in December 2037. Work includes sewer lining, slough repairs and cleaning, completing new pump stations, sewer separation and other expensive projects.  

The bonds also have paid for the wastewater treatment plant, the most expensive capital project in the city’s history.

“When you just built a new treatment plant, as we have, that number is going to be high as we’ve borrowed all the money and now we’re going to pay it back,” Kinser said. “That number is going to get smaller every time, but that asset still exists.”

The city plans to add one more sewer revenue bond to pay for the 25th Avenue North pumping station. The city has tentatively agreed to use local option sales tax to issue a general obligation bond for $20 million over the course of two years.  

“We have a lot of work to complete within the system and we’re not going to ask the ratepayers to pay it,” Kinser said.

In order to improve the situation, Kinser has proposed restructuring a $62 million sewer revenue bond from a 20-year payment schedule to a 30-year payment schedule.

“I think it’s a better option for the citizens,” Kinser said.


Text Only
  • 4-23-14 Northey Burkens committed to ag education CLINTON -- As the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey said his department doesn't hand out the Good Farm Neighbor Award arbitrarily. Only 10 acknowledgements are bestowed each year. On Wednesday, the honor went to a worthy family in Clinton C

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-22-14 CCC Pay it Forward Week CCC gives back to community CLINTON -- A community college is defined as a junior college offering a higher education to people living in a particular area. For the staff, faculty and students at Clinton Community College the definition of community plays a much bigger role tha

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kness photo Leader, wife run on in fight against cancer FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Fort Bragg Soldier Col. Lenny Kness, chief of staff, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), is an avid runner. So, it was no surprise in October 2011 that he would stay the course, as planned many months before, and run the Army Ten M

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-21-14 Ash Borer AP photo Horticulturalists: Infestation of Emerald Ash Borer 'inevitable'

    CLINTON - Not everyone at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum can remember what happened to local horticulture in the late 1960s. They've all heard stories, though, about how Dutch Elm Disease laid waste to scores of trees across the Midwest. Now another infes

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Women on Fire event is Wednesday at Vista Grande CLINTON -- For many years, women in business have been honored in the city of Clinton, but on Wednesday, they have a night all their own. The Women are on Fire event will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Vista Grande in Clinton and will offer an oppo

    April 19, 2014

  • Paul Miller Scout master keeps Troop 74 going strong CLINTON -- Scout Master Paul Miller loves the outdoors, camping, fishing and scouting. For the past 13 years, Paul, of Clinton, has led this area's only Boy Scout troop for challenged individuals, Troop 74. While a typical troop allows boys ages 11

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • World Book Night A big love for books CLINTON -- Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced. On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities. World Book Night, which conve

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17-14 Trees forever photo 2 Let it grow (with Video)

    CLINTON - A new generation of trees will be planted by a young generation of Irish. Wednesday during class, Lisa Golden's Prince of Peace Prep third-graders continued their year-long biology education with the help of Clinton's Trees Forever organiza

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Communities prep for hunts CLINTON -- Easter weekend is nearly here and two local organizations are calling all children for the hunting event of the year -- Easter egg hunting that is. Both Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will host Easter egg hunts Saturday, each at different time

    April 17, 2014

  • Women's Expo set for Tuesday at Wild Rose CLINTON -- It is time again to gather the girlfriends and head out to the Ultimate Spring Women's Expo at the Wild Rose Event Center in Clinton. The third annual expo from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, hosted by the Clinton Herald, offers an opportuni

    April 14, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.