Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore announced that a financial analysis reveals that City has sufficient bonding capacity to construct the combined sewer overflow interceptor project mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We must comply with the EPA mandate to address the combined sewer overflow problem in downtown. The interceptor project is the most cost efficient way to comply with the mandate,” said Moore who said the estimate to construct the interceptor project is $37 million. “With some belt tightening, we can build the CSO interceptor without any additional sewer rate hikes.”
The EPA is requiring that the City build an interceptor pipe in downtown that will redirect combined rainfall and sewage from the Ohio River to a treatment plant.
Moore disagreed with recent reports alleging the City was nearly $16 million short in bonding capacity to build the interceptor. The City’s financial advisors, Umbaugh and Associates, recently completed an analysis of the sewer department’s finances showing the sewer department’s bonding capacity is $35.2 million.
“The numbers are close enough for us to move forward with the project. It would be irresponsible for us to ignore our obligation with the EPA,” said Moore. “This project has been discussed and planned for several years. We don’t need any more delays.”
The Umbaugh analysis includes revenue from both sewer and drainage. Moore noted every rate study since 2009 adopted by the City anticipated that the sewer and drainage fees and tap fees collected would satisfy debt for sewer projects including the CSO interceptor.
“This isn’t something new or different. Too suddenly not use those revenues, makes no sense,” said Moore. “Our sewer utility is financially strong. The City has worked very hard in the last couple years to improve our sewer infrastructure. But it’s been prudent in how those funds were expended.”