City leaders in Blue Grass, Iowa want to sell their water system to Iowa American Water.
“If we don’t sell it that means we still have to do it and then that falls back on the tax-payers here to take care of that,” said Blue Grass Mayor Tim Brandenburg.
It’s an aging system.
Brandenburg says selling the 66-year-old water system is a must.
He says it would cost the city more than $2-million to fix themselves. Upgrades include new fire hydrants to meet the current standards.
“The pressure is not significant at times to fight a fire,” the mayor said.
The $1.3 million deal with Iowa American water has been years in the making.
“Well the hold-back?” the mayor questioned. “I can’t answer that. I wasn’t in the picture at that time.”
The mayor says their population has grown from 1,400 to almost 1,700.
People living in the city have expressed concerns that their water rates would rise.
According to the mayor, people are paying more now than what Iowa American is currently charging their customers.
If the sale goes through, water rates will freeze for a three year period during the water-system transfer process.
People also argue that the sale is only to help pay for road repair.
The mayor says the $2.7 million project on Mississippi Street will move forward with or without the sale of the water system. However, Mayor Brandenburg says the sale would help off-set the cost.
So, we asked the mayor what was Iowa American Water’s biggest biggest concern.
“The dollar amount wasn’t set in stone … and there was some negotiation that could take place that opened the door and they still have interest,” the mayor answered.
A town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 30 at the Blue Grass Community Club. The public hearing starts at 7 p.m.
A special election will be held August 2nd.