Mountain View mayor talks funding options on new sewer requirements

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The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is requiring the city of Mountain View to get its sewer plant and sewer collection system into compliance with standards.

Mayor Roger Gardner, the city council, and municipal employees have been working on the project for some time as they follow the process leading to deciding on the means of funding.

There are two ways to do that.

One way is to call in the “old” sewer system bonds, and issue new bonds, adding the funding needed to update the sewer system. Currently, the “old” sewer bonds are being retired (or paid for) with a one-cent sales tax that has been in existence since 2012. With this way to fund the project, the sales tax will remain the same. No change for the citizens. In fact, with the current and extremely low-interest rates, Gardner said the bonds could cost less and be retired sooner.

“I feel like that we can save money, not only on the old bonds by refinancing them, but we can also save money on the new improvements by financing them now,” the mayor told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman today. “If we wait, we really don’t know what the interest rates will be later.”

The other way to fund the project is to raise the rates the citizens of Mountain View are being charged for water and sewer.

It is estimated that there will be an initial 30 percent increase on every patron’s bill, and then 5 percent increases each year for the next 5 years.

The mayor said he prefers the new bond issue where everything stays the same as it is now with no increases in water and sewer rates.

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LOCAL NEWS TEAM

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