The city of Inkom is asking locals to pass a $2.5 million bond, but says it will save taxpayers millions more in environmental fines.
The money will be used to upgrade the old wastewater treatment facility.
Tuesday night city leaders made their case to Inkom locals, explaining why the muli-million dollar upgrade is needed.
“It’s hard times and we don’t want to have any increases to rates or fees. But where the restrictions are tight and our system isn’t working, we have got to do something,” Inkom Mayor Joel Jolley said.
The upgrade will eliminate the need to discharge treated waste water into the Portneuf River.
That practice has caused Inkom to fail some water quality standards, and the EPA is beginning to levy fines against the city.
Right now, the fine means $83 from every sewer system user in Inkom, but it could just be the beginning.
“Yes, if we don’t do something we’ll continue to get fines. And I’m sure they’ll get bigger as time goes. If we don’t do something,” Jolley said.
Those supporting the bond said people will have to pay either way: pay for the new treatment plant, or pay fines.
“If we don’t get the bond election, it’s still going to cost us. One way or another it’s going to cost us,” Jolley said.
City leaders said they are hopeful the bond can be payed for without raising current sewer rates.