Major water, sewer projects continue in Warrenton

Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

Warrenton aldermen this month approved a $21 million spending plan for the city’s next fiscal year, including $7 million for improvements to the city’s water and sewer systems.

The city’s 2020-2021 budget was approved by a 6-0 vote June 16.

“The city continues to make major investments into the infrastructure for water and sewer utilities,” said City Administrator Terri Thorn. “In order to provide adequate services, both to existing customers as well as to meet the needs of future growth, increasing the capacity of sewer mains to
handle the increased flows of sewage, and increasing the volume of sewage that can be successfully treated once it reaches the sewer treatment plant is imperative.”

She said sewer infrastructure improvements take an especially long time to proceed from engineering, to review by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, to actual construction.

“Initiating these types of projects to stay ahead of needs requires a great deal of advance planning,” Thorn commented. She added that the city has long-term plans to increase capacity at its wastewater treatment plant on Willow Road.

Thorn said water distribution systems usually take less time to get to construction, and usually involve installing larger water mains along the same route as an existing main.

Many of the projects over the next year were meant to begin in the first half of 2020, but were put on hold due to COVID-19, according to a budget summary. Aldermen voted in April to freeze project spending until the pandemic’s impact on city sales tax revenues was better known.

Capital projects

Major capital project expenses include:

• $2 million for engineering, easements and construction of new sewage mains leading to the wastewater treatment plant on Willow Road. This is part of ongoing bond-funded construction to expand the city’s sewage system capacity, which was approved by voters in 2014.

• $1.4 million forstormwater sewer construction on Steinhagen, McKinley Avenue, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Highway MM.

• $1.1 million for sewer system engineering and construction in the area around the new Interstate 70 interchange.

• $666,000 for a new well at the Warrior Avenue water tower. This is a response to “the need for greater water capacity in that area of the city, created by the new home construction, as well as the improvement of water flows supplied to existing homes,” Thorn said.

• $553,000 to replace water mains on Vosholl Avenue, Tomahawk Lane and Hawthorne Drive.

• $500,000 to repaint the interior and exterior of the water tower at the industrial park on Highway M, a project required by the Department of Natural Resources.

• $190,000 for additional engineering for stormwater systems and street improvements on Roosevelt Avenue, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Highway MM, which were initiated earlier this year.

Other major projects

Several other major projects are included in Warrenton’s 2020-2021 budget. They include $2.5 million for right-of-way acquisition and construction of sidewalks along North Highway 47. A significant portion of this project is being funded by the Missouri Department of Transportation City Administrator Terri Thorn said the city hopes to begin construction on that project in early 2021.

Also budgeted are $295,000 for various street, parking and sidewalk improvements, as well as $200,000 for landscaping improvements at the I-70/Highway 47 interchange.

The city will also pay $4.5 million in debt service on loans for several projects. About $2,992,000 will go to pay for the new I-70 interchange. Over $988,000 will go toward repaying water and sewer improvements, $424,000 will pay down the loan for the new Warrenton Pool Park, and $133,000 is for the Highway 47 sidewalk project.


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