By: Ernie Wren
We are set to vote on the wastewater bond on Tuesday, February 6th. This is not your normal election date, so take notice! The Board of Aldermen of the City of Ashland has called for an election to be held on February 6, 2024, commencing at 6:00 a.m. and closing at 7:00 p.m. This special election places a 40-million-dollar bond issue on the ballot for wastewater improvements.

If you weren’t at the Optimist breakfast this past Saturday morning, here is a summary from their bulletin on this issue (thank you Letitia DenHartog).

“Kyle Michel came in this morning to talk about the Wastewater election on Feb. 6th from 6 a.m-7 p.m. at the Optimist building. There were copies of his educational materials in last Saturday’s bulletin, but you can also see presentations that were given to the Board of Aldermen, on their website. If this bond issue does not pass, improvements still need to occur since the wastewater treatment plant that opened in 2019 is at capacity. It will just cost more if the city must finance the updates privately instead of through revenue bonds. If you have questions, you can contact Kyle at 573-657-2091 or through the website at”

Meanwhile, Ashland resident Chuck Donigian continues with his campaign for developer fees with a recent response on social media:

“According to the city’s bond fact sheet, increases in sewer rates will be spread out over the life of the loan and could range from 5-10% annually. This will double your sewer bill in 6-7 years. Impact fees protect current homeowners from paying for developer’s infrastructure costs. Vote No on February 6th and ask our Alderman to implement impact fees.”.

Each of these opposing viewpoints have validity. One unknown factor in this is the trust we have in our Ashland city administration given recent activities with city government and staff members.
Good luck with this one, voters!

Reminder: This Saturday is Optimist Pancake Day! Feb. 3rd will be the annual Optimist Pancake Day from 6:30-11:30am at the Optimist building. All funds go back to our community. Make plans now to enjoy a super breakfast and show up with a healthy appetite. Tickets for adults are $10, kids under 12 for $5, and under 4 are free.