Macomb looks to improve city sewer plant, rates to go up - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Macomb looks to improve city sewer plant, rates to go up

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MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) - Sewer rates in Macomb could soon be going up.

This comes as city officials prepare to take out a $3 million loan to make some much needed improvements to the city's sewer plant.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman says the city is applying for a 20-year loan to help pay for repairs to the aging sewer plant.
   
To help pay back the loan, Inman says rates would only go up about three percent a year, a price residents say is well worth it.

Inman says it's been more than 30 years since the city's sewer plant has seen any major upgrades.
   
"Energy efficiency is the big reason," Inman said. "But the primary driving force here is that this system is old. It's at or beyond its expectant useful life."   
   
That's why he says the city is looking to take out a $3 million loan from the EPA to fix problems ranging from the plant's aging filtration system to the rancid smell residents often complain about.
   
"We don't live very far from it and if the wind blows right it makes the kids feel sick," Magan Ruebush. "It's horrible."
   
Sewer rates will increase by about three percent every year until the loan is paid off, which Inman says could take about 15 to 20 years.
   
It's a price the Ruebush family says they're more than willing to pay.
   
"When it rains for a couple of days the sewers start backing up and it doesn't drain the right way it'll come up through your sewer system," Brice Ruebush said. "It's nasty. If it fixes that and the problems with the drainage for the city I don't mind paying the extra three percent."
   
While Inman says the current plant isn't endangering the public, and does meet EPA guidelines, he says the new improvements will make sure it stays that way.
   
"We're not in any kind of violation with the EPA, but we're trying to stay ahead of that curb," Inman said. "Quite honestly some of these improvements have just been put off too long. It's important that we maintain the integrity of this system."

Inman says the city could get EPA approval for the loan by the beginning of next year. If it goes through, repair work could start sometime next spring.
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