On Aug. 7, 2018, voters will decide whether to make water system improvements using bond funds. A simple majority is needed to pass this initiative.
PURPOSE: City of Columbia Water & Light is requesting $42.845 million to be borrowed to pay for projects throughout the water service territory, the largest of which is $23 million for Phase I improvements to the City’s water treatment plant. The Phase I improvements will modernize the City’s water treatment plant by adding additional reliability and safety elements. The remaining projects intended to be constructed with the bond funds are shown in the Water Bond Project List.
USE OF BOND FUNDS: Water & Light pays for large capital projects with a combination of cash and borrowed money. Historically voters are asked to approve bond financing every five years. The last election when bond funding was requested for water system upgrades was in 2008 for $38 million. Borrowing money to pay for large-scale capital improvement projects spreads the cost of the projects over time so current and future users of the system pay for the improvements.
RATE IMPACT: If the bond issue passes, water customers will likely see a total 11 percent increase over a four-year period to cover bond payments: 3 percent in 2019, 3 percent in 2020, 3 percent in 2021 and 2 percent in 2022. When completed, the total impact of the 11 percent increase will be realized as approximately $2.71 per month increase in the utility bill for the average residential customer. Taxes will not be impacted by this bond initiative. If the bond issue does not pass, project costs will be paid through rate increases in an amount sufficient to fund each project in its entirety prior to construction.
WATER SYSTEM BASICS: Water from the McBaine aquifer is processed through the water treatment plant. Treated water travels through pump stations, which pushes water to three local water towers in order to maintain pressure for water distribution. Water is then distributed through water mains, which connect the treated water to all fire hydrant, residential, commercial and industrial plumbing systems.
|BALLOT LANGUAGE: Shall the City of Columbia, Missouri issue its Water and Electric System Revenue Bonds in the amount of $42,845,000.00 for the purpose of extending, expanding, improving, repairing, replacing and equipping the City-owned waterworks system with the cost of operation and maintenance of said water and electric system and the principal of and interest on said revenue bonds to be payable solely from the revenues derived by the City from the operation of its water and electric system, including all future extensions and improvements thereto? YES ( ) NO ( )|
Paid for by the City of Columbia, Missouri. Mike Matthes, City Manager
701 E. Broadway, P.O. Box 6015, Columbia, MO 65205