Council: EPA-mandated $10 million sewer plant project ‘not optional’

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Fulton Director of Administration Bill Johnson had a lot to say about the upcoming sewer plant project mandated by the EPA.

“It’s not an option,” said Johnson. “We have to do it and get it done.”

The project, which would lower Fulton’s effluent discharge to levels deemed acceptable by new EPA standards, will cost a projected $10-$12 million — a price tag that will be reflected in Fulton families’ utility bills.

Johnson said the city’s customers currently pay on average about $32 a month before a half-cent sales tax for approximately 5,000 gallons of sewage a year, but the Missouri Department of Natural Resources calculated that after the $10 million project at the sewer plant, families would see an increase to about $53 a month on their utility bills. This number is still lower than the EPA’s projected number; the federal organization determined it was reasonable for the average local family to pay 2 percent of the medium household income for 5,000 gallons of sewage. In Fulton, the medium income is approximately $44,000, 2 percent of which would leave Fulton families with an approximately $73 a month sewage bill.

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