Clarinda City Hall

(Clarinda) -- Clarinda is one step closer to financing a new wastewater treatment plant.

Meeting in regular session Wednesday, the Clarinda City Council held a public hearing to review its application for a State Revolving Fund loan for construction of a nearly $12 million facility. City Manager Gary McClarnon says the public hearing is the next step in being able to borrow money from the SRF for the project.

"This is actually a requirement for us to receive a revolving fund loan from the Iowa Finance Authority regarding our new sewer plant," said McClarnon. "Steve Troyer from Fox Engineering was present at the meeting to discuss the environmental information document."

McClarnon says the presentation included some information on the project, including why a new facility is needed.

"Mr. Troyer went on to give a little history of the city of Clarinda and basically how we got to where we are at, determining that we needed to build a new sewer plant because of the requirements passed down from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for wastewater," said McClarnon.

McClarnon says a few other hurdles for the project should be cleared soon.

"They have done the archaeological and environmental study," said McClarnon. "Those are currently in process. They do not see anything to deter us from the project. The Iowa DNR still has to submit their final report on both the archaeological investigation and environmental investigation. (Troyer) doesn't think there will be any issues come out of that, but the official report has not been released yet."

Future action on the project is expected at a future council meeting. In other business, the council approved the employee handbook for the upcoming fiscal year. McClarnon says among other things, the handbook update includes pay raises for city employees.

"Those increases amounted to the police department will be getting a $1.50 increase in their pay, public works full-time employees will get a $1.00 an hour increase, full-time salaried individuals will get a 3% pay increase, all other full-time employees will get a $0.50 an hour increase and permanent part-time employees will get a $0.25 an hour increase," said McClarnon.

The pay raises will take effect July 1st.