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City Hall to borrow $159M ahead of Sioux Falls sewer plant expansion

Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) logo Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) 12/2/2019 Joe Sneve, Sioux Falls Argus Leader

City Hall is readying to take out the largest borrowing package in Sioux Falls government history.

The Public Works Department this week will ask councilors to sign off on borrowing $159 million to rehab and expand the Sioux Falls Water Reclamation Plant. It's a part of Mayor Paul TenHaken's plan to invest nearly $260 million investment into sanitary and storm water sewer infrastructure in the next five years.

With Sioux Falls' population growth, its sewer services are at or nearing capacity, according to the Public Works Department, and TenHaken has said repeatedly since taking office in 2018 the city needs to make significant investments to handle more growth.

"We need to build for future capacity and commercial and residential growth in our city," he said last year. "Economic development and population growth cannot happen in our city without this investment, it's that critical."

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Right now, the sewer plant has the capacity to process 21 million gallons a day, but with the planned upgrades, that will increase to 30 million gallons each day.

The $159 million would come through the state of South Dakota's revolving fund, which offers low-interest loans to municipal and county governments. The terms of the loan would be 20 years at 2.5% interest.

Earlier this year, the city borrowed another $27 million to replace an aging pump station near Rice Street and Bahnson Avenue. That facility pumps more than 90 percent of the waste produced in Sioux Falls city limits to the water reclamation plant near 60th Street North and Sycamore Avenue.

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This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: City Hall to borrow $159M ahead of Sioux Falls sewer plant expansion

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