Kansas Citians go to the polls Tuesday and one of the things they will be deciding is whether to update an aging network of underground water pipes.
Backers of the water revenue bonds say it’s critical to maintaining the city’s infrastructure.
Kansas City’s underground pipes, along with some fire hydrants and other facilities, date back to the Civil War years, say water department officials.
And, they say, the system is breaking down. Officials report there were more than 1,000 water main breaks just last year.
Voters are being asked to approve $500 million in water bonds to be paid back at $50 million per year over 10 years.
“Right now the city is finishing up the last of the water bonds passed many years ago..and so this is basically kind of a re-up,” said campaign coordinator Steve Glorioso.
Water rates will increase by 10 percent in 2015, the last year of already scheduled rate hikes.
Officials say consumers should see only negligible rate increases after that.
Water district officials say the city would begin repairs where water needs are most critical, for example around hospitals and schools.