Changes could be coming to Davenport’s sewer system after several homeowners sued the Mayor and Public Works Director over sewage back-ups.
On Saturday, January 25th, 2014, Davenport City Council held a work session to talk about next year’s budget. The discussion focused on capital improvement projects, including sewer improvements and funding.
Following this summer’s lawsuits, city council added a $2 fee to every homeowner’s sewer bill to help pay for the damage.
However, not everyone – including some council members – agreed with the surcharge, saying it won’t fix the problem.
Fourth Ward Alderman, Raymond Ambrose, says they may discuss selling their sewer system to a private company, because the costs to maintain it keep going up. He says they are working to find a balance between keeping taxpayers happy and keeping taxes/fees down.
“It’s unfair to the hardworking people of Davenport that we continue to have to consider raising fees because of government bureaucracy – whether they’re in Des Moines or in Washington – that continue to make demands that I think are unfair,” says Alderman Ambrose.
Projects like the West Side Diversion Tunnel are supposed to help the city’s sewer problems. However, no word on when that project will be finished.
The city’s sewer system was also on the mind of Mayor Bill Gluba, who was in Washington, D.C. this week for the Conference of Mayors.
After his flight in the Quad City International Airport on Saturday, January 25th, 2014, Mayor Gluba said he met with about 250 of his counterparts in D.C. They discussed different grants for their communities and how to use the money for things like roads, bridges, and sewers.
“They’re very expensive to maintain and keep going and improve over the years,” says Mayor Gluba. “Ours has been pretty much neglected over the years.”
However, Mayor Gluba says he got a lot of good suggestions from the conference and he’ll be talking about those ideas throughout the year.