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Water Treat Bond Issue Goes to Hannibal Voters.

Water Treat Bond Issue Goes to Hannibal Voters.

3 months ago by Jim Dewey

Hannibal voters will be asked to approved a bond issue of up to $17.5 million after Tuesday's second and final reading of an ordinance placing the issue on the August 7th Ballot. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to build and equip the structure that will house the Granular Activated Charcoal water filtration system that was recently approved by the Hannibal Board of Public Works and the City Council. The GAC Process will allow the HBPW to discontinue the use of ammonia in the water purification process.

The removal of ammonia was demanded by voters in a 2017 petition initiative. That initiative drew the third highest voter turnout for a municipal election in Hannibal since the year 2000 according to 3rd Ward Council Member Melissa Cogdal, who was also an early supporter of the initiative.

HBPW interim General Superintendent Heath Hall reminded council that even if voters reject the bond issue - the project will proceed and the board will have to fund it through a lease purchase plan, which Hall says will cost about $4 million dollars more than bonding.

Hall said he and a couple of staff members joined two representatives from the Engineering company Black and Veatch to visit a Pennsylvania firm that manufactures the carbon medium that could be used in the plant. That trip offered a lot of information for the project including how the carbon is made, loaded and shipped. The group also visited a water plant that uses GAC in its water treatment process.

The HBPW and its engineers are now working on finding a location near the Riverview Park filtration plant for the GAC building which will measure roughly 80 by 100 feet. Discussions are also ongoing regarding the number and size of filtration vessels that will go into the building.

Hall says the project is on schedule and the Board plans to submit a design to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for approval by the end of September. He expects the project to be bid by the end of the year and construction to begin next spring. If all remains on schedule - the project should be completed by early 2020. That is also the deadline set by the city for removing ammonia from the city's water supply.

The cost of water for the average residential customer will increase by a little over $10 a month. A public hearing has been set for 6 PM Monday, June 18th at the BPW office to discuss the rate increase.

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