Proposed Water Bond Projects

The following capital projects are proposed for consideration by the Hot Springs Board of Directors, to be funded by future revenue bonds in years 2018 through 2022.

Estimated average impact over a four-year period for the average municipal water user of 5,000 gallons/month: $8/month

Proposed water rate increase schedule, phased over four years:

  • $3/month in 2018
  • $2/month in 2019
  • $2/month in 2020
  • $1/month in 2021

The Board of Directors will be asked to issue revenue bonds according to the following schedule to fund four major capital water utility projects:

  • $20 million bond in 2018
  • $0 in 2019
  • $30 million bond in years 2020, 2021 and 2022
    These are based on a very conservative approach, as rates could change over time and as the city moves through the projects, there may be savings on the initial phases which could reduce the amount needed for the latter bonds.

The bonds would fund the following four major water capital projects:

1. New Master Control Center Gear (switchgear) at the current Ouachita Water Treatment Plant
    Estimated Cost:  $2 million

Description:  After a storm crippled the plant in May 2015, the backup power generator suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure, halting water production at the facility. A risk assessment determined that the existing switchgear is 17 years old, obsolete, difficult to maintain and repair, and exposed to weather. To mitigate risk, a new system is recommended, with utility power protective relays and updated equipment that is housed in a protected structure.

2. Dam Failure Risk Mitigation at the lakes related to the Lakeside Water Treatment Plant
    Estimated cost:  $10.47 million

  • Lake Ricks – considered a “high” hazard for dam failure (more than $500,000 in economic loss)
  • Lake Sanderson – considered a “significant” hazard but recommended to be elevated to a “high” hazard rating (less than $500,000 in economic loss)
  • Lake Dillon – considered a “significant” hazard (less than $500,000 in economic loss)
  • Lake Bethel – considered a “low” hazard (less than $100,000 in economic loss)

Description: Dam upgrades and improvements to improve the safety of the downstream hazard area, which includes the area along Bull Bayou in the City of Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park; structures along Wildcat Road, Cedarglades Road, Blacksnake Road, and Bull Bayou Road; and the mobile home park and commercial properties along Bull Bayou Road and Highway 270. The estimated costs for each lake vary: Lake Ricks at $215,000, Lake Sanderson at $3.9 million, Lake Dillon at $4.975 million and Lake Bethel at $1.6 million, adding to a total estimated cost for all lakes of $10.47 million. Note:  This project is not associated with the proposed Northwoods Urban Wilderness Park.

3. Elevated Water Storage Tank behind the Cornerstone Marketplace area
    Estimated cost:  $5.18 million

Description: The tank will have a 3 million gallon capacity. An anticipated $3.8 million balance from a 2015 Water Bond is available for this project, leaving an additional $1.3 million needed as part of the proposed 2018 water bond issuance.

4. Lake Ouachita Water Supply
    Estimated cost:  $95 million

  • Intake structure
  • Raw water line
  • Water treatment plant
  • Potable water line infrastructure

Description: The project cost is to be spread over years 2018-2022. This affords the city the ability to minimize the impact on the ratepayer.