Grand Island faces excessive sanitary sewer problems

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Updated: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:23:44 CST

The City of Grand Island has seen 8 sanitary sewer collapses so far this fiscal year.

Last fiscal year there was just one.

Tuesday night City Council voted 7 to 0 to approve nearly $30,000 worth of emergency repairs for the most recent collapse.

The 8th collapse happened to a sewer line in the alley between Custer and Howard Avenue on June 18th.

But this is a problem Public Works Director, John Collins says they knew would come.

Collins says the sewer system appears to be 50 to 75 years old, but it's only 35.

The City is taking steps to prevent future collapses of the quickly deteriorating sewer system.

Council voted tonight on the state funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

Which will help keep up with a long term plan to improve infrastructure of the wastewater treatment plant.

"It's key.We need it. If we didn't have the opportunity to obtain this loan, we would have to go out for additional revenue bonds because what's key is we get those improvements in place and it happens within the next three to five years." Said Jaye Monter, City Finance Director.

Monter says the City originally planned on purchasing sewer revenue bonds.

They switched plans earlier this month after learning The Clean Water Loans offer lower interest rates.

Council will vote on a second approval of the loans at a special meeting next week.