EDITOR'S NOTE: WE ARE TOLD THE PROPOSED SILOAM SPRINGS SEWER PROJECT MIGHT REDUCE PHOSPHORUS TO .02MG/L. OKLAHOMA SEWER PLANTS HAVE A 1 MG/L LIMIT. IS ARKANSAS RAISING THE BAR?
By Richard Dean Prudenti
The NW Arkansas Morning News
SILOAM SPRINGS -- City officials took a first step Tuesday in building a multimillion dollar treatment facility to turn wastewater effluent into pristine water in Siloam Springs.
The city Board of Directors approved seeking no more than a $20 million loan from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to cover the expansion of the city wastewater treatment plant in northwest Siloam Springs.
A resolution of intent to build and finance the sewer improvements is one of many pieces of the application process for the state Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund.
"This is the first step in getting our loan through," said David Cameron, city administrator.
Approval sets the project in motion as well as sets the stage for future reimbursement of project costs, including preliminary reports from Garver Engineers of Fayetteville.
"We've been through this once before," Cameron said, noting the city is now paying off a $5.5 million state revolving loan for the installation of 13.5 miles of sewer lines throughout the city.
The next step will be to determine a construction schedule and a method of paying off the loan, which could be an increase in sewer rates, a city sales tax increase or a combination of both.
"Rate increases and sales tax is not part of the request (for a loan)," said Mayor M.L. "Moose" Van Poucke. "Basically, this puts us on the list to be given loan money. We can totally back out of the request."
Cameron plans to have finance alternatives in June.