(Clarksdale,MO) A ballot initiative in the August primary could bring in a new water system for a rural Missouri town.The city of Clarksdale is asking residents for a $1.2million bond to install new water and sewer lines throughout the city.
The current water system was installed in the 1960s and City Clerk Tina Good said the outdated system is facing several maintenance issues including water main breaks.
“The old water lines were installed in the 1960s and they need to be replaced. Some of them are [covered in] asbestos, which isn’t a problem until it (the pipe) breaks and a lot of them are breaking,” Good said.
Good said the city has kept the water pressure low to avoid additional line breaks. The sewer system is newer, built in the 1990s, but is still in need of repair.
City officials said residents wont see a cost increase for water or sewer services.According to studies by Mo-Kan, the city of Clarksdale has over 70 percent of the population classified as low to moderate income, making them eligible for federal grants. Good said instead of passing the cost of repairs onto residents, the city plans to fund a majority of the work through federal grants.
“[We’re trying] to qualify for CDB(Community Development Block) grants and USDA rural development grants, we are trying to get those in place to pay for it but we also have to get a bond passed to cover the rest. We won’t know what the rest will be until we get the grant,” Good said.
If the bond passes and the city receives enough grant money, the project is expected to take about two years to completely replace the city’s water and sewer lines.