On Tuesday, Feb. 6th, Ashland residents rejected the city’s $40 million dollar bond issue, with 53.48% of voters selecting “NO” to the wastewater bond question. The issue needed a simple majority to pass, but failed to do so, with only 45.34% of voters selecting “YES”.

The city says improvements to the combined waterworks and sewerage system are necessary to increase the system’s capacity needs and to address regulatory compliance. According to the city’s bond fact sheet, the city will seek alternative financing mechanisms which will result in the sewer rates being raised at a much higher rate over a shorter period of time.

258 out of Ashland’s 3,279 eligible residents voted on the bond issue on Tuesday, Feb. 6th, 2024, or 7.86%, in what was the first February Municipal Bond Election in Boone County since 1998.

How does Ashland’s current sewer rates compare to other

Source: City of Ashland bond fact sheet

Why did the city request more wastewater funds after they just opened the new wastewater treatment plant in 2020?

At the public workshop on Wed. Jan. 17th, Project Lead Kyle Landwehr of Bartlett & West engineering firm said the previous construction of the treatment plant in recent years was only Phase 1 of the larger project and the need for a future phase 2 expansion was known in the 2014 report. Landwehr says the current project should not be considered a surprise. He says that instead of asking for short-term, piecemeal amounts for funding like the city did in Phase 1 of the project, they requested the full amount needed for the long-term expansion goal in the bond election.

According to projections presented by the city at the Jan. 17th workshop, the population of Ashland is projected to increase to 7,073-8,645 residents by 2045. The city says that the average daily flows meet or exceed the current facility’s capacity of treating 600,000 gallons/day and says the expansion will allow Ashland to treat 1.6 million gallons/day.

For more information and official results, visit the Boone County Clerk’s website here.