The Madison City Commission voted "no" during its Monday meeting on a current capital call that was proposed to fund continued construction of the Lewis & Clark water pipeline.
Chad Comes, Madison's city engineer, serves as an at-large member on the water pipeline's executive board and will take the city commission's vote to an Oct. 24 meeting of Lewis & Clark officials. The city commissioners specified that they were voting no only on the capital call proposal that was given to them at this time.
Supporters of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System made a proposal to the city commissioners in September about conducting a capital call in 2014. The capital call would raise money (LCRWS officials are currently considering raising about $16 million) from among the system's members to spur continued construction of the Missouri River water pipeline.
Madison's share of the capital call was calculated at $470,500.
The funds raised through the capital call would fund continued construction of the pipeline to Luverne, Minn.
Construction of the LCRWS pipeline has been stymied during the last several years due to inadequate funding from the federal government. For the last three fiscal years, federal funding has dropped to amounts ranging from $2 million to $5.4 million. Those amounts that were appropriated by the Obama administration are far less than the funding needed to continue to build the pipeline to its remaining customers.
Madison is the second-to-last customer that construction workers will connect to the pipeline. All of the state and local entities involved with the construction of the pipeline have donated their full shares of the construction funding. At the start of the project, the federal government promised to provide 80 percent of the construction costs.
At an annual federal funding level of $10 million, LCRWS officials estimate it will take until 2049 to complete the pipeline's construction.