Plans under way to upgrade sewer facility

Now that Estacada voters approved a sewer rate increase during last week's election, the City Council is preparing to proceed with plans to build a special filter, which will lower ammonia levels in the water flowing from the sewer plant into the Clackamas River.

An increase of $2.85 for each billing unit will help fund the $650,000 project, which will be completed in 2015, according to an agreement between Estacada and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The city council will decide when to implement the sewer rate increase during a meeting on Monday, Nov. 26. It's most likely residents will see the increase at the start of the new year, in order to begin paying for the pre-enginieering costs.

Engineering design plans are supposed to be submitted to DEQ by Sept. 2013, and Estacada has until March 2015 for the filter to be build and operational.

The rate increase passed 53 percent (611 votes) to 47 percent (533 votes), and it will allow the facility to meet state standards and avoid costly mandates.

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