For several years, Kandiyohi County officials were required to transfer – via truck – of more than 3 million gallons of toxic leachate from its own landfill to the City of Willmar’s wastewater treatment plant for processing. This practice not only presented long-term public safety and health concerns county-wide, but the City’s plant could only effectively treat some of the contaminants it received, meaning others were discharged into the Mississippi River Basin and other local waterways. County officials recognized the significant environmental, health and financial risks inherent in continuing this process and established a goal to purchase and install a complete solid-waste membrane filtration system.
County officials engaged Ehlers to provide financial planning and debt issuance services. Our municipal advisors collaborated with the County and its project staff to analyze several debt, budget impact and cost-benefit scenarios to determine an optimal debt funding, sales and repayment structure for the project.
In December 2014, the County issued roughly $1.8MM in General Obligation Solid Waste Bonds via competitive sale. Our analysis and guidance helped the client identify cost-savings that not only fully covered debt-service expense, but allowed for budget surpluses that could be deployed for other priorities. Kandiyohi County purchased, installed and began operating the solid-waste membrane filtration system during 2015.
Of note: Engineering News-Record named this project its Midwest water/environmental project of the year for 2016. We are always proud to play a part in innovative solutions for environmental stewardship and public health.