Ingram City Council members formally accepted almost $4.7 million in grant and loan monies to finish its multi-phase wastewater project.
During their Tuesday meeting, council members agreed to issue $947,000 in bonds and to receive a $3.746 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture under the federal colonia program. The monies will be used to finance the design, engineering and construction of wastewater infrastructure to connect about 125 residential properties to Kerrville’s wastewater system, according to Ingram City Manager Mark Bosma.
The wastewater project has connected about 610 residences and 91 commercial properties to Kerrville’s wastewater treatment plant, Bosma said.
The project, which broke ground about eight years ago, has involved the expenditure of almost $10 million in loans and grants — about $6.2 million in grants and about $3.5 million in loans.
“The USDA has to spread the funds around to other entities that need the same type of help that Ingram did,” Bosma said. “There’s just not enough to get it all done at one time.”
Once the 125 residences are hooked up, the project should be finished, Bosma said.
Although funds have been made available, the actual cost of this third — and final — phase of the project won’t be known until the survey, design and engineering work are finished and approved by the USDA, which could take six to seven months, Bosma said.
The completion of the wastewater project likely will result in more commercial development over the next five years than there otherwise would have been if properties were still on septic systems, Bosma indicated.
“It’s a good thing for Ingram,” Bosma said. “It’s a good thing for the river, too. It’s great for the environment, and I think it’s great for the community, and we should feel blessed that the USDA is willing to help us out with that.”
The Kerrville Daily Times has previously reported on litigation involving the city’s wastewater project. Those matters are pending in court, and more information will be released when available.
BUDGET & TAX RATE
In other matters, the council also had a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rates, the latter of which is not expected to change from the current property tax rate of 52.9 cents per $100 of taxable valuation. No one spoke at the hearing, and the city is expected to approve the budget and tax rate before the end of this month.
The proposed budget calls for general fund revenues totaling $1.39 million and expenses of $1.349 million.