RISCO - The state of Missouri has an offer for Risco's 392 residents. The Department of Natural Resources has agreed to pay 40 percent of the cost of needed repairs to the community's sewage system if the residents fund the remaining costs.
On Tuesday, the voters in Risco will go to the polls to decide whether to issue revenue bonds of $320,000 to fund their portion of the improvements. A simple majority will be needed for approval said New Madrid County Clerk Jim W. Farrenburg about the sole issue facing New Madrid County voters on Tuesday.
Risco Mayor Don Lancaster called voter approval essential to continue proper operations of the sewage system.
"In order to meet the federal requirements and to maintain good, safe, sanitary conditions, we have to upgrade (the system)," Lancaster said. The city has never failed any DNR requirements, he added, but has had to struggle to maintain its current system.
For seven years, the town's council has sought grants to cover the costs of improving the system. Lancaster said they had hoped to receive a grant covering at least 60 percent of the costs but only received the 40 percent state-funded grant proposal with a two-year window to provide matching funds and begin work.
If the revenue bond issue is approved, work would be completed on the community's 20-year-old three-cell lagoon, lift stations would be rebuilt and sewer lines improved. Work would begin sometime in 2002.
The revenue bonds and the interest on the bonds would be repaid through the operation of the improved system.
Lancaster estimated the average user's current bill is around $22 now and bond payments would increase the bill to about $28 to $29 per month.
As the vote on the issue nears, Lancaster said he is thankful for the support he and the community's officials have received from the citizens in the past and is hopeful about the passage of the revenue bond proposal.
"The community of Risco has always been supportive of any major project to keep the city operating properly," Lancaster said. "We have just completed upgrading the water system and this project is another way of trying to continue that progress and maintain a good system for them."
Voters will go to the Community Building in Risco to cast their ballots on the issue.
In the only election in Scott County, Miner residents will be asked to decide Tuesday if the Board of Aldermen should change the ordinance to allow for the appointment of a chief of police. The polling place will be the Miner City Hall.
Voting times in Risco and Miner are from to 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
There are no issues going before Mississippi County residents on Tuesday.