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Frederick Vote Will Lower Water Bills

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FREDERICK Okla_ Residents of Frederick may see soon see their water bills go down, thanks to this week's approval of a sales tax extension. 

The city has been ordered by the government to bring their wastewater lagoon system up to federal standards.

It will cost seven-million dollars, and city leaders say if the tax question had not passed, they would have been forced to raise water and sewer rates to pay for it.

The city of Frederick and engineers have had this project on the drawing board for three years, figuring out how to improve and expand Frederick's thirty year-old waste water lagoon system, which no longer met the Department of Environmental Quality's guidelines.

The city will change the existing economic development tax to a capital improvements tax--in order to help fund this project.

"It was a project that was going to have to be done whether the tax actually passed or not but thanks to the voters it actually will save them money on their utility bills," said Whitworth.

This half-cent capital improvement tax will pay for part of this seven million dollar project-- the other funds will come from left over funds from a project in the industrial park that was completed four years early.

"Nothing real dynamic about it. It's just something that we had to do which will hopefully last another thirty years or longer depending on government regulations," said Whitworth.

Whitworth said new irrigation systems will be put in-- since that is how they get rid of their wastewater.

After the water has been through the treatment process and turned into gray water, it's used for irrigation.

The city has a split lagoon system--one just east of Frederick-- it will be split with one additional cell. The other lagoon is further south at the industrial park and it will have to be split into two cells.

"It's a win win for our community and we were excited that it did pass and now we can come back and get the final numbers on how it will affect our rate payers."

The bids for the project came in lower than expected so the cost for the rate payer will be less than originally projected--meaning the people of Frederick will see a decrease in the sewer portion of their water bill each month.

Mayor Whitworth says they could start moving dirt for the project as early as November.  The DEQ says it must be completed by February 2015.

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