The proposal is a no tax bond that will fund the city's need to repair its infrastructure and old sewer pipes. The bond, financed at a very low .95 percent, will allow Zachary to repair nearly 330,000 linear feet of pipe.
"It is so vital we fix our sewer problems and at this very low rate," said Zachary Mayor David Amrhein. "Either we fix it now while we have this opportunity or we don't. If we wait, the problem will be much worse, as will the cost to repair our sewer needs."
Amrhein said this is the first time the City of Zachary has asked voters to approve a bond proposal. However, in order for the bond money to be used for the repairs, Zachary's Home Rule Charter requires that the issue go before the voters. "Otherwise, we would have borrowed the money from the bank," Amrhein explained.
“As the city and region grows, our infrastructure must be able to handle the changes with the new growth," said Amrhein. "Repairing our sewer issues is something that must be done to move Zachary forward."
The bond, which will be paid back over a period of 22 years, will not be seen in the form of new taxes, instead, will come from the new utility fee structure.
"We're growing, and although we haven't had an increase in sewer rates in 30 years, we would have had an increase regardless of whether we pursued this project or not," Amrhein said at a Rotary meeting July 21. "This bond is important to everyone. It will allow us to fix every sewer line in Zachary."
The Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Hospitals is also on board with the sewer project. The rainwater intrusion that occurs naturally on the sewer lines makes the need to replace them even greater.
DEQ Official, Dr. Vladimir Alexander Appeaning has been assisting the Director of Public Works, Chris Davezac, and the City of Zachary Utilities with the sewer fixes.
In a separate project, Amrhein said the water sprinklers, which have been installed in the medians throughout the city, were made possible by the half-cent sales tax fund.
"We receive $1 million a year from that fund and the law requires us to spend three percent on beautification projects," Amrhein said.
The sprinkler system allows city employee Leigh Carpenter, immediate access and control of the system along Hwy. 64.
Carpenter is solely responsible for the upkeep of all the flower beds seen throughout Zachary and on city property.
Mayor Amrhein said he hopes the citizens of Zachary are on board with the bond issue and join him in voting 'yes' to the sewer bond proposal on Oct. 22.