The City of Fredericktown is proposing a one-half of one percent sales tax in the Tuesday election to fund water and sewer improvements.
The issues of improvements to the aging systems have been the subject of debate for several months. In January, 2012, the city council voted to increase the rate schedule for water usage and added a minimum fee for sewer users.
According to the city, the sales tax will reduce the burden of local users by collecting revenue from those who live outside the community.
The current water system does not meet guidelines set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for fire flow, supply or pressure.
Much of the system suffers from aging pipes which are too small in diameter to provide sufficient flow to fire hydrants. They are also subject to leaks and breakage. The city plans to replace many of these lines with PVC.
The sole source for drinking water in Fredericktown is City Lake. In the event of an emergency the city could be completely without water. The city is currently exploring wells as a possible back-up source.
The water treatment plant located at the City Lake must be upgraded due to more stringent requirements set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The city is mandated to remove all possible health hazards.
The EPA through DNR has also updated discharge limits for the Sewage Treatment Facility.