ECIA
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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What does EIRUSS stand for?

A: Eastern Iowa Regional Utility Service Systems


Q: Why was EIRUSS formed?

A: To focus on the wastewater needs of its member counties in east central Iowa, with a focus on unsewered communities and/or communities with current violations and/or prohibited discharges.


Q: What five counties make up the EIRUSS region?

A: Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Jackson and Jones


Q: How is EIRUSS funded?

A: Each of the five counties intially contributed funds to finance the EIRUSS operation. ECIA and the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) staffs prepare grant applications. As systems are constructed and the number of users increases, EIRUSS will slowly fund itself and become self-sustaining. EIRUSS hopes to eventually have an adequate number of systems in operation with user fees being generated to cover the operational expenses outside of construction costs. Grant and loan funds support the development of the essential facilities and systems.


Q: What type of funding is available to communities who want to update or develop their wastewater or water systems?

A: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), USDA Rural Development, Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Revolving Fund (SRF).


Q: How much will it cost our community to update or develop a wastewater or water system?

A: Generally the costs to the community are minimal, such as publication and meeting costs. Once a project is funded and design is begun, there may be instances where utility easements are required. EIRUSS and its funding sources prefer that these easements be donated. The cost of land acquisition, including easements, will be built in to the user rates for the utility once operational, thereby increasing rates for everyone.


Q: What will my utilities cost after the project is done?

A: EIRUSS will seek grant funds and low interest loans to fund projects. The terms of the grants and loans depend mainly on the income of the community to be served. Ultimately the construction project costs will be financed utilizing the lowest cost alternative available. These costs along with operation and maintenance costs will determine the user rates for each system.


Q: Do I have to connect to the new or updated system?

A: This will depend on the funding sources. Generally those funding agencies will require that all potential users within a reasonable distance connect to the system. More users on a system will result in lower average user rates for all customers.