Lewiston water, wastewater bonds will be on May ballot

Lewiston residents will vote this spring on two separate bonds for extensive upgrades to the city’s antiquated wastewater and water systems.

A bond for wastewater projects would total $28.5 million, while the water bond comes in around $42 million.

The city council last year enacted 40 percent rate increases to both systems in hopes that a judge would grant the city authority to issue the bonds. However, two judges have since rejected the city’s petitions – one on a technicality, and the other for not meeting the definition of “necessary” in Idaho’s Constitution that would allow the city to issue bonds without voter approval.

The bonds will now be on the ballot May 21st.

In the meantime, city officials are optimistic in their application for financing for both projects through the state of Idaho’s revolving loan funds, which offer considerably lower interest rates than the open bond market.

A final determination on the state loans will be made next month. (Lewiston Tribune)