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Funding in place for new DUD water treatment plant
DUD w sm
Funding for DeKalb Utility District’s proposed water treatment plant has been approved by USDA Rural Development.DUD Chairman Roger Turney announced that the water utility will receive a $5 million loan and a grant of $1.25 million to build the new plant at a DUD board meeting last Thursday. The loan is set up for 40 years at 2.75 percent interest.DUD officials say that the additional $4.25 million needed to complete the $10.5 million project will be funded through a bond issue.The plan is not without opposition, however.Officials from the City of Smithville fear the loss of almost half-a-million dollars in revenue per year if DUD stops buying water from the city.The city has hired the Calvert Street Group, a public relations firm, and they have launched a campaign to convince residents through telephone calls, on-line petitions, and other means that the DUD plant will result in large increases in water rates, especially for city residents.Smithville Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson addressed the DUD board at the Thursday meeting, and expressed city officials’ discontent with the project and stressed that city officials can’t understand why the DUD facility is necessary, considering that the city’s newly renovated plant is capable of producing more treated water than both utilities need.“From the city's standpoint, our plant is a four-million-gallon-a-day plant, and with DUD as a customer we're at 50 percent capacity and have been for many years,” Hendrixson told the DUD board. "Our contract with you doesn't expire until Dec. 31, 2013.“The city would have been open to renegotiating the contract,” he continued “I just wish the DUD and the city could have had a little better communication.“I think the city sells water to you very cheaply.

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