On March 6, voters will consider an item on the ballot to authorize a $2.98 million bond to bring the final piece of South Burlington water infrastructure under city control. The houses in the Hadley Road neighborhood, just below Rice High School, have always had their sewer discharged to the City of Burlington where it is processed at a Burlington sewer plant.
South Burlington currently pays Burlington their prevailing sewer charge for this service. In recent years the difference between South Burlington’s sewer rate and Burlington’s has grown with Burlington’s being substantially higher. In recognition of this growing expense, South Burlington began exploring options to disconnect this sewer discharge from Burlington. The solution is to reroute the sewer south to South Burlington’s sewer plant on Bartlett Bay Road.
Despite this being a $2.98 million project, it is eligible for nearly $1.4 million in grants and credits. The debt will be issued paid back in 10 years and that expense will be borne by sewer rate payers, not through the general property tax base. Upon approval of the bond, the infrastructure of the area will be replaced and improved. Work would begin in the spring.
Bottom Line: In year 1, the City will save at least tens of thousands of dollars when comparing the price of the debt repayment to the money we would pay to Burlington if this project were not undertaken. After the bonded debt is paid off, the return on investment will become hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.