|Brookings can save $700K with historic low interest rate|
|January 25, 2012 04:02 am|
The city of Brookings is taking advantage of historic low interest rates to save $700,000 on loan payments for the wastewater treatment plant built in 2001.
However, Administrative Services Director Janell Howard said that won’t translate to lower sewer bills for city residents because the money being saved will be used for a remediation project at the plant.
Howard outlined the refinancing plan Monday night during the Brookings City Council meeting. Council members scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. Monday to give the go-ahead to refinance the Department of Environmental Quality loan.
The original loan of $13.1 million carries a 4.2 percent interest rate. After the change, the city will get an estimated 2.16 percent rate for the remaining loan amount of $7.6 million.
Howard called the current interest rates an “unheard of” low figure.
The savings will pay for both phases of a project to stabilize the ground where the treatment plant is located near Chetco Point.
Phase one, which should begin in late spring or early summer, involves relocating the plant’s effluent discharge pipe to an area that has less potential for a landslide, said Public Works Director Loree Pryce.
The job will cost $125,000 and Central Pipeline Inc. of Central point won the contract with its low bid. Phase one also includes a $75,000 price tag for engineering and geotechnical research.
Phase two, to begin next year, consists of installing “sheet piles” in the ground near the Chetco Point trail and the plant’s fence to keep the earth in place, she said. That will cost about $300,000.
The total cost of the two phases will be $500,000.
Pryce said the decision to put the plant near the shore was a good one, despite the landslide potential that has come to light. That’s because it’s much cheaper for effluent to flow to the plant by gravity rather than pumping it to the plant.
“The best place to locate wastewater plants is far downstream, which tends to be on the ocean,” Pryce said. “It makes sense that they put it where they did.”