By Martin J. Kidston
by Martin J. Kidston
The Havre Daily News
Monday, May 10
Efforts to keep up with the demands of a growing population thirsty for water has left city officials scratching their heads. The problem: How to continue pumping water from the citys outdated treatment plant, crippled by antiquated equipment and changing environmental standards? The solution, build a new plant.
Thats what the city of Havre intends to do. But doing so means water customers will see a 15 percent rate increase a raise necessary to pay back the loan the city borrowed for the project.
The engineers were here and reviewed the necessary improvements to the plant, said Lowell Swenson, city clerk and treasurer. After reviewing their options, the council voted to go ahead
with the plant improvements.
Swenson said the city took a $6.9 million loan from the State Department of Natural Resources to pay for upgrades to Havres rapidly ailing treatment plant. The loan is 20 years at four percent interest.
To pay back the loan, Swenson said water rates will be raised throughout the city. Under the increase, Swenson estimates the average monthly residential water bill will increase from $24.52 to $28.20.
We received public funding through the state, and we need to pay back that bond through water front revenues, Swenson said. Thats why we have to raise the rates, to make sure we cover the bond.
The City of Havre will hold a public hearing on June 7 at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers. The hearing will give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinion concerning the proposed rate increase, as well as to review the planned upgrades to the water treatment plant.