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Sewer project in final stage

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

Paden City Recorder Larry Shepherd updated the mayor and the council on the status of a Rural Utilities Service loan funding for the construction of new sewage facilities to serve the city during Monday evening’s council meeting.

The project, which was initiated almost six years ago, calls for the issuance of the principal amount of $2.5 million.

Councilwoman Eileen Smittle commended Shepherd for his perseverance in procuring the funds. “I want to thank Larry. He was the secretary of the sanitation board and it’s due to his work work that we have this. We would have never had this without him.”

Mayor Bill Fox also offered commendations. “Larry is to be congratulated, as is the rest of the board. If it weren’t for those individuals we would not be in the financial situation to do this.”

Shepherd thanked Fox and Smittle and explained the project. “This is the end of a six-year nightmare. We have now been given formal approval by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to proceed in this project.”

This funding, which was awarded three years ago, has been released to Paden City. Shepherd presented the council with the legalities of borrowing $2.5 million, amortizations, and charts. “This has been sitting for four years but I have gone through it and it has not changed much from the original bond issuance.”

In fact, the only changes are the dates and the finalization details.

The ordinance will allow the city to borrow the funds, which will in turn be paid back over a 38-year period. The money will be used to rebuild a large part of the sewage collection system under the streets. With these updates, Paden City will be in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s codes and regulations previously violated. “We have been allowed to proceed with the problems,” Shepherd said. “This will correct those problems.”

The timeline is as follows: The first reading of an ordinance for the issuance of the fund was entertained on Monday evening; the second reading will be held on Dec. 6; and the third reading and public hearing have been slated for Jan. 3.

Around Jan. 15, 2011, the city will sign the finalization papers and the process will begin. In the meantime, bids will be taken for the project and opened by the engineers late in the month.

“The most important thing I want everyone to take from this is that when you are taking a loan, you’ve got to pay it back,” Shepherd said. “And a lot of folks may have forgotten, but we did take out a rate increase back in 2005 that was going to pay for this. During this time we have been banking this money, and through this process we’ve been able to pay off a great part of this loan, thus freeing up money for the sewer board.”

Shepherd also reported that do to the responsible handling of the money, the city will save close to $250,000 in interest over a 38-year period.

“This was done with quite a bit of thought,” he said. “The city will not have to ask for a rate increase any time in the near future to pay for this or any other project. We are well-funded.”

Shepherd reiterated his point, “This is not going to cost the citizens of Paden City one more penny. You have already paid!”