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Heyburn Wastewater Treatment Facility

Ralph Martini, wastewater manager, talks about the process Thursday at the Heyburn Wastewater Treatment Facility.

HEYBURN — The Heyburn City Council decided to postpone a decision July 11 on whether the city should pursue an election or use judicial confirmation for a wastewater bond.

The city will continue the discussion at its next meeting on July 25 at City Hall, 941 18th St. Paul Ross, city attorney, recommended to the council to postpone the decision.

Heyburn’s wastewater treatment facility is out of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency and faces hefty fines that could bankrupt the city if the work is not completed.

Attorney Stephanie Bonney, who specializes in representing municipalities during bond processes, said there are two options for the city if it pursues a bond to bring the facility to compliance: an election or a judicial confirmation, where a judge decides if the project is ordinary and necessary.

But any project that is water- or wastewater-related, Bonney said, meets those requirements. Plus, she added, a judicial confirmation would be quicker.

The needed improvements are estimated at $7 million to $8 million, and if the work isn’t completed on a timeline established by the EPA, Heyburn will face fines of more than $53,000 per day.

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