Lockwood Water & Sewer District

PHASE II COMPLETION

Lockwood Water & Sewer District would like to thank all the residents of the Lockwood Community for your patience and understanding over the last year during the construction of the Phase II Sewer Project. Due to the mild winter we had last year, crews were able to work through it and complete construction ahead of schedule. Over the next year you may still see construction crews from time to time working on issues related to the project covered under our warranty period. If you notice anything unusual or have any concerns please notify the District.

Phase II was opened up on September 1st, 2016 for residents to begin connecting into. We have already had a considerable number of property owners come into the office, pay their fees and start connecting into the sewer system. At no time is connection to the sewer system allowed without prior approval by the District.

The total project costs were about $10,000,000. Of the total cost the District received close to $3,000,000 in grants and loan forgiveness. As a partner with the District and the community, Yellowstone County contributed over $800,000 towards additional road improvements within the project area. The total amount financed by the District through Special Assessment Bonds was $6,000,000, this included a USDA Rural Development Bond of $3,000,000 for 40 years and a State Revolving Fund Bond of $3,000,000 for 30 years. Property owners within the Phase II Boundary will see an assessment on their upcoming tax notice. The 2016 assessment for the Phase II Sewer Project will be will be split up for each loan on your tax bill one for SRF and one for RD totaling $421.30.

Overall we feel that the project has been a great success and another step forward in being able to provide our community with a much needed service. As always please feel free to contact the District with any questions.

 

LWSD Sewer Project History

 

In 1997, the community voted in support of creation of the Lockwood Water and Sewer District (LWSD) to pursue construction of central sewer collection and treatment for the community.

Election Date

% Voters in Favor of Creation of the LWSD to Pursue Central Sewer Collection and Treatment for the Lockwood Community

Nov. 5, 1996

71%

From 2001 to 2008, 5 General Obligation bond elections were held to fund the sewer construction. The results of these elections were:

Election Date

% Voters in Favor of GO Bond to fund sewer

Comment

June 27, 2001

51.06%

Failed due to supermajority requirement*

May 22, 2003

53.6%

Failed due to supermajority requirement*

Nov. 7, 2003

58.5%

Failed due to supermajority requirement*

Feb. 4, 2004

44.2%

Prior to election, inaccurate cost estimates were distributed by opposition

Sept. 8, 2008

61%

Phase 1 Sewer Subdistrict approved

* Until 2007, State Law required a “supermajority” (60% approval rate) for passage of a bond.

In 2010, the LWSD sent out a survey to all property owners in the Phase 2 Sewer Service Area. Only 25% of respondents said they were not interested in sewer service. The balance were either interested in connecting either as soon as possible, when their drainfield failed, or expressed that they needed more information.

Frequently Asked Questions about LWSD Sewer 

Question: What fees are property owners currently paying and what are they for?

Answer

  1. $25/year planning fee: An annual $25 fee is assessed to all property owners within the Water and Sewer District Boundary that are not located within the Phase I or Phase II Sewer Boundaries. This fee is being used to cover future sewer system planning expenses. Examples of expenses include postage, meetings, engineering, and permits. Phase I and Phase II properties are no longer paying this fee, as the planning for these phases have been completed.
  1. $40/year capacity reservation fee at City of Billings WWTP: In 2011 LWSD Board passed a resolution which added an annual fee of $40 to all properties in the LWSD Sewer Service Boundary.  This fee is being used to assist the District in making payment to the City of Billings for the reservation of treatment capacity in the Billings Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Without this reservation, treatment capacity to address future growth could not be guaranteed.
  1. General Obligation Bond (G.O.) Assessment: All properties within the Phase I Sewer Service Boundary are being assessed on their annual property tax statement. The assessment is based on the taxable value of the property and is used to cover the semiannual payments on the G.O. Bonds that were issued out to construct the project.
  1. Phase II SRF & RD Assessments: All properties within the Phase II Sewer Service boundary are being assessed on their annual property tax statement. The assessment is based on the Bonds issued out to cover the Phase II project costs. This is an equal assessment spread among all the benefited properties within the Phase II Service Boundary and is used to cover the semiannual Bond payments. The two Bonds associated with the project are the USDA Rural Development 40 year Bond and the State Revolving Fund (SRF) 30 year Bond

Question: If I combine multiple tax codes will it reduce my assessment?

Answer:  No. All tax codes that were in existence after the the date of resolution No. 123, August 13, 2014, will be assessed. Tax Codes combined after the date of the resolution will be assessed in an amount equal to the amount it would have been assessed had the combination or consolidation of tax codes not occurred.

Question: How is Lockwood’s wastewater being treated?

Answer: In March, 2008, the LWSD entered into an agreement with the City of Billings to accept and treat sewage from Lockwood. Engineering studies showed that payment to the City of Billings for treatment would be significantly less expensive than the capital construction cost and the monthly O&M costs for Lockwood to build and operate a separate treatment plant (estimates showed an approximately 80% savings). As part of this Agreement between LWSD and the City, LWSD is obligated to pay the City both to treat current flows and to reserve capacity for future flows from LWSD Phase 1 and Phase 2 properties to hook up in the future.

 

DOCUMENTS

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