Colbert leaders might reach a long-awaited decision next month on whether or not to pursue sewerage service for the city.
The city council will hold a 6 p.m. work session before its Sept. 8 meeting to discuss sewerage possibilities and perhaps bring finality to the matter.
“We’re going to have a work session that night and probably come up with a conclusion as to whether we’ll go forward or not,” Mayor John Waggoner said.
There are concerns that a sewerage system in Colbert might be a little pricey. Engineer Chris Quigley, hired by the city to conduct a preliminary study for sewer services, told Colbert leaders Monday night that a system would cost around $6 million.
“(From) the tone of what I can figure out, he’s a little bit concerned that it probably wouldn’t be able to pay for itself,” Waggoner said.
The mayor called the $6 million figure “pretty big.”
Waggoner said that, according to Quigley, 75 percent of that cost would, hopefully, be funded by grants while the rest would be covered by loan money.
The challenge, the mayor said, is building a large enough customer base to make it a feasible venture.
The city recently polled water customers about the possibility of sewerage service, and approximately 55 responded that they’d be interested “if the price was reasonable,” Waggoner said.
“A lot of that’s ‘iffy’ stuff now,” he said.
With that customer base, there would likely be an additional $60-$70 sewerage fee per month in additional to a regular water bill.
“You’re probably look at an average of about $100 a month in water and sewer,” Waggoner said.
NOTES: The city council moved back its September meeting a week due to a conflict with Labor Day, which falls on Sept. 1.