By David Tuma, The Belton Journal
The Belton City Council is looking into increasing and wastewater and water rates to pay for improvements, some of which are required by the state. The water rate may be raised from $14 to $15. The wastewater rate may be increased from $11 to $12. This upcoming the year the City of Belton will have to replace the Nolan Creek Sewer trunk line at a cost of $1.2 million. In late 2015-16 South Belton’s sewer line will be extended to the Lampasas River with a cost of $5.3 million.
Starting this year the Waste Water Treatment plant owned by Belton and Temple will be expanded. The cost for this project cannot be avoided. The cost is over several years and starts in 2015 Phase I $3 million, 2017 Phase II $3 million, 2018 Phase III $2.5 million and 2019 Phase IV $2.5 million.
“As the city continues to grow these sewer lines and water lines must be replaced. The sewer line along Nolan Creek needs to be expanded to handle the increase in usage. The waste water treatment plant expansion has been in the planning stages for years. Belton is only paying for 25 percent of the total cost of the project. The sewer line down along I-35 is for development and future expansion. Someday years down the road you may see a sewer plant in that area. There is a lot of growth being planned in that area,” said Public Information officer Paul Romer.
There is also the need for a water tower north of Belton High School at a cost of $3 million. Last spring the city expanded a water main in the high growth area beyond Belton High School. That is not a long term solution to low water levels as house after house is built in that area.
The state is a major factor in determining when a sewer plant must be expanded. “The sewer plant is close to capacity. Once you get past a certain point of capacity the state requires you to start the process of planning to expand. They also have a capacity level where they require you to build a new sewer plant,” said Romer.
North isn’t the only high growth area. There are major expansions planned on the south end of town along FM 436. Hubbard Branch a new 500 home exclusive subdivision is being planned in the area and is working with the city on a volunteer annexation plan. There is also a 1,500 home subdivision planned and several other in the works. The average water bill in 2015 should go up around $1.72 a month for usage of 5,000 gallons and $2.95 for usage at 10,000. Sewer usage the bill should go up $2.50 for 5,000 gallons and $5 for 10,000.