Paxton City Council Sept. 22 meeting discusses water system design and construction upgrades [PREMIUM]

THE PAXTON CITY COUNCIL at its Sept. 22 meeting.

By BRUCE COLLIER

The Paxton City Council moved swiftly through a short agenda at its Sept. 22 meeting, which was rescheduled from the original Sept. 15 meeting. The meeting was not held due to weather conditions from Hurricane Sally. 

The council approved minutes, payment of bills, and waiver of an excessive water bill attributed to a leak. 

The council next voted to approve an engagement letter with the accounting firm of Rabren, Odom, Pierce & Hayes, CPA., for services.

Discussion was held regarding a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) project, specifically the subject of loan/grant ratio for design and construction projects that would replace outdated water meters, and effect both repair and upgrades to the city water system. 

An email was referenced from Mary J. Gavin, Technical Assistance Provider with Gavin Consulting, LLC. Gavin’s email communicated details on loan and grant ratios, which are 50/50, both the sign portion and construction portion.

The cost of the design portion is determined to be $64,177. That figure, divided by 2 (the 50/50 loan/grant ratio) would result in a loan to be assumed by the city of $32,406, an an annual interest rate of 1.08 percent. The total loan payment (annually) would be $1,267.52, which would increase the customer water bill by 16 cents per customer for the design loan. 

The proposed construction loan is $107,247, plus $2,145 for the loan fee, for a total of $109,393, payable over 30 years at 0-percent interest. This would increase the customer water bill by 47 cents for the construction loan. The total customer water bill cost increase for both loans would be 63 cents. 

Discussion was held over whether the city could afford to undertake the loans. It was noted that the meter upgrade was needed and would ultimately save money. The council decided to approve starting the application for the design loan, but not the construction loan, at this time. 

The council next approved a property/surplus form. It was also decided that, following temporary suspension of rental of city buildings and facilities during the COVID-19 lockdown, that such rentals would now recommence.  

Under old business, the subject of the 2004 Paxton Little League Championship sign was taken up. That sign had been removed (without malicious intent) some time ago, and replaced with more current championship signs. Complaints had been made on the removal. After discussion, during which it was noted that the Little League organization has a board of its own, it was decided to advise the board to develop a protocol on what to do, and where to locate, the sign. 

There were no attorney’s or mayor’s reports. 

Under department reports, there was a brief discussion of a broadband cellular communications site lease agreement that the city had voted to approve with provisions at a previous meeting. This discussion focused on certain construction and safety-related concerns at the North and South Water Towers. 

There were no public comments, and the meeting was adjourned.