The Monterey Board of Aldermen has dedicated a half a million dollars towards its new wastewater treatment plant.
Engineer Nathan Green said the town putting its own money into the project increases the chances of receiving grant funding.
“Monterey through rate increases that had happened from way back when has amassed a little nest egg that we could provide half a million dollars of that additional funding for,” Green said. “It just happens that time went as far as it did, and we have that extra money to do that with. It also looks good for funding agencies.”
Green said from his conversations with USDA, he believes the town can get up to $2.5 million, giving the town the remaining funds needed to pay for the some $11 million project.
“In running the numbers, it looks to me like obviously there were going to be rate increases that came to be associated with the treatment plant that had not happened yet that is going to happen regardless,” Green said. “If things work out the way that I think that they will, I believe maybe one more year of a five to seven percent rate increase would catch every other aspect at what we are looking at. The depreciation, the interest.”
The Board awarded the bid for work to W&O construction on Monday contingent on the grant funding. Town officials have been working since 2014 to accumulate revenue for the project.
“In 2014, you had approximately $830,000 in what I would call unrestricted cash,” Green said. “(…) In 2020, your audit said that number was $2,421,000. So, you’ve grown that much.”
Green said if the grant funding is not awarded, then the board will have to reevaluate funding options for the project.
Green noted that in the past the town’s water system has had nitrate violations and was below the recommended oxygen level to remove waste organic matter.