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Iona’s $3.9 million bond for improving water system, may boost bills

The city of Iona is considering raising its water rates for its domestic water system facilities improvement bond.

“It’s because of the deficiencies we already have, but we’re also trying to plan for future growth. If you look, as you came out to Iona, all around us it has grown. And we have developers and people who do want to come and be part of Iona and so we’re just trying to plan for both,” said Brad Andersen, Iona’s mayor.

The water system improvement will need a $3.9 million bond that has to pass in next month’s referendum. It is a plan to ensure the city’s continued water usage, but it is going to hike up the city’s monthly water bill.

“The water bill rate will go up no more than $19 a month — we’re figuring on a worse case scenario. Right now our monthly water bill is $30, if it goes up the max $19, then our water bill will be $49,” Andersen said.

Andersen said the rate should be less than $49, with the help of grants and reserves.

If approved, the $3.9 million bond will give Iona a new water tank, well and upgraded infrastructure — giving the city more water capacity and redundancy.

“If there is more growth in the future, then we have the capacity with the new well, a new generator, a new million-gallon tank to supply that water without affecting the people that are already on the system,” Andersen said.

About eight years ago, the city conducted a water study that showed it has deficiencies within its system — and the city is finally trying to make those changes. But if denied in the upcoming referendum, “You’re looking at no growth, because we’ve got to make sure that we have enough water supply for the people here. So, it’s up to the patrons,” Andersen said.

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