Perry Residents Facing Sewer System Improvements

March 13, 2019

The City of Perry is facing the daunting task of finding funds to make improvements to its sewerage system in order to comply with mandatory standards that are now imposed by state and federal regulatory agencies. Many small communities across the state have had to make improvements to their systems to meet these new regulations.

The City of Perry’s sewer discharge permit has recently been renewed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. At this time, the city is not able to meet the maximum acceptable discharge limits for ammonia established for a new permit to be issued. A new treatment process is necessary to meet ammonia limits by 2021. Additional problems come because the sewerage collection system experiences high flows due to inflow and infiltration after heavy rains. This results in the system not being able to handle the flows following heavy rains and untreated sewerage is frequently discharged across land and streets in the community.

The city has begun to reduce the amount of inflow and infiltration into the system, but will need financial assistance to effectively continue to bring the system into compliance with the new regulations.

The City has made application to several state and federal funding agencies for grants and low-interest loans to obtain the necessary funding. Eligibility for these grants and loans depends on the City’s ability to contribute to the cost of the project through the authorization and issuance of bonds.

According to the City’s press release, “…based on preliminary estimates, the 5,000-gallon per month user’s sewer bill will be $61. If the City was forced to finance the project on its own without State or federal assistance, it is estimated the 5,000-gallon monthly user rate will be in the neighborhood of $98.”

On April 2 residents will be asked to vote on a proposition to issue bonds for two million dollars “for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, extending and improving the City’s existing combined waterworks and sewerage systems…”

There will be a second public meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Perry City Hall on March 28. All interested residents are encouraged to attend.