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Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority's facilities on DSM's southeast side. Photo courtesy of WRA

Grimes is decommissioning its wastewater treatment plant and plans to join the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) next year, the utility's director told the Des Moines City Council last week.

Why it matters: It's going to help save locals money.

Context: The WRA is a regional utility of 17 governments or sewer districts, including DSM, WDM and Ankeny.

  • It serves more than 500K people and cleans an average of 58 million gallons of wastewater each day.
  • Operation costs are shared, based on each community's outflow.

👃 Get a whiff of this: Grimes' 1970s treatment plant has nearly reached its capacity and has been emitting unpleasant smells, according to a city Q&A.

  • It's still in compliance with state requirements, but the city determined in 2018 that it was in its best interest to join the WRA for the long term.
  • An 18-month connection project is underway.

By the numbers: The WRA's annual operating budget is around $56.2 million.

  • Grimes will make up less than 4% of wastewater outflow once connected and will pay $27.4 million to the WRA over 30 years.

The bottom line: Residents probably won't see a reduction in their utility bills, but Grimes' participation sharing WRA's expenses will help reduce pressure on future rates, utility director Scott Hutchens told Axios.

💭 Our thought bubble: The WRA demonstrates the power of regional cooperation.

  • 18 metro governments have figured out that they don't each need a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Couldn't we do the same for other tasks?
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Go deeper

"Justice for J6" rally underway with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: U.S. Capitol Police officers at approximately 12:40 p.m. arrested a man with a knife for a weapons violation, the agency wrote in a tweet.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.

3 hours ago - World

Pope Francis urges bishops to listen to survivors of sexual abuse

Pope Francis rides his Pope mobile through a crowd of pilgrims before holding an open-air mass on September 15, 2021 in Sastin, Slovakia. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Pope Francis on Saturday urged European bishops to listen to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, saying "these important discussions truly touch the future of the church," AP reports.

Driving the news: Francis spoke in a video message to Central and Eastern European bishops who are convening in Poland for a four-day child protection conference beginning on Sunday.