(KMOV) --Sewer bills in Belleville are set to double in the next ten years and one alderman is concerned property owners don’t know it.
Fifth Ward Alderman Joe Hayden said only a few people showed up for the last public meeting to inform citizens about a $127 million project to upgrade the city’s sewer system. The city is looking for feedback on three plans to pass the cost onto sewer customers.
“Without getting massive feedback, that makes it tough to decide which plan the citizens would be more comfortable with,” said Hayden.
Each proposed plan would raise rates eight percent starting next year, according to figures from the city treasurer. Increases would continue at eight percent a year for a total of about 12 years, and increase one percent after that.
“My concern is ‘are we going to be forcing people out of the city of Belleville because they can’t afford to live here?’” said Hayden.
City Sewer Lines Director Royce Carlisle said the money needs to be spent now.
“It’s an immediate concern we need to take care of,” said Carlisle.
State and federal requirements are forcing the city to upgrade the sewer system to stop the overflow of sewage into Belleville streams. The projects will eliminate that from happening Carlisle said.
The city is also laying more than 100 miles of new pipe.
New infrastructure will separate waste and storm water, relieving pressure on the system. The new pipe will also replace old and damage pipe, some sections estimated to be laid more than 100 years ago.