Utility officials who serve small town Iowa are lobbying legislators to keep money for their towns in any water quality plan that may emerge in 2017.
“With all the talk about farmers and drainage districts, lawsuits and nitrates, it’s easy to forget that our state also has a multi-billion dollar municipal infrastructure problem as well and right now that burden is falling squarely on rate-payers and taxpayers in our small, rural communities,” says Tim Whipple, the general counsel for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities.
The plan to finance water quality projects that was approved by House Republicans nearly a year ago included money to help small communities finance required improvements to sewage systems and water treatment plants.
“As the legislature moves forward with water quality funding, I hope you will remember that small communities need funding assistance every bit as much as farmers for the costly infrastructure upgrades that they need to remain attractive places to live and work,” says Whipple, who grew up in rural Franklin County and went to grade school in Hampton.
In addition to lobbying for more state money to city-owned water treatment plants, the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities has been seeking more options in how cities are allowed to finance waste-water projects.