New sewer plant cost ranges from $9.06 to $11.34 million
The Jesup City Council is looking at four options for a new sewer treatment plant project after a special meeting June 18.

The construction and 20-year operating cost estimates range from $9.06 million to $11.34 million. Financing one of these options would likely drive up the monthly sewer bills for Jesup residents by adding from $10 per month to as much as $35 per month to current bills. At this point, these are only estimates and many decisions have yet to be made to determine how much will be needed.

One of these four options is likely to be selected at either the July 6, or July 20 upcoming council meetings in order to keep the engineering firm’s schedule. Completion of the new facility is scheduled for October 2023.

Decisions on financing options may be made later, after consultations with financial experts; but discussion at the June 18 meeting indicated the council will be looking at phasing in increases over the next few years. The council has been raising the sewer fees 3% per year for the last five years, but those pre-approved hikes have come to an end. These rate hikes have allowed the city to accumulate about $1 million in the sewer fund, and more is likely to accumulate over the next three years before the project construction is completed.
Most of the cost of the project, however, will have to be financed.

The city must build a new sewer plant at the current lagoon site to enable it to meet new sewage treatment requirements. These include: complete ammonia removal, E.coli bacterial removal and an Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy plan for total nitrogen and total phosphorous removal.

McClure Engineering presented four alternatives to upgrade the existing lagoon treatment plant.

Council members expressed interest in visiting cities where similar upgrades to facilities have been made. The engineering firm will set up tours to these facilities.

More information on the options being considered will be published in next week’s Citizen Herald.
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