Refinancing sewer bonds will save city thousands of dollars

Suzette Lowe

Many agenda items at the Dec. 1 Ripley City Council meeting required the input and expertise of city treasurer, Tom Armstead.

Council members Carolyn Waybright, Rick Buckley, Danny Martin, and Recorder David Casto, with John McGinley unable to attend, approved Armstead’s proposal to refinance the sewer bonds through the United States Department of Agriculture. The option will allow the 18 years left on the loan to be lowered to 13 years, with an interest rate decrease of one percent. Armstead estimates that the city will save $136,000 throughout the loan’s term.

Council also approved Armstead working with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council to apply for a $1,000,000 grant through the Appalachian Regional Council for the second phase of the city’s sewer project.

“We’ve applied before but didn’t receive the grant,” Armstead said. “We’re not going to give up. We will be submitting it a bit earlier which may give us a better chance.”

Two major purchases were considered, with one receiving approval and the other to be considered at a future council meeting.

The city will be purchasing a new vac truck which is used for sewer and other issues. The cost of the truck will be approximately $420,000 and will replace the current 17-year-old vehicle.

After discussion, council members decided to research specifications before approving funds to purchase a new garbage truck for the city.

In other business, Council:

• Learned that Officer Thomas hopes to attend the West Virginia State Police Academy in January 2021

• Learned that water loss for the last billing period was eight percent, and 10 percent of the water meters have been changed to radio read

• Agreed to discuss the proposed drive through bill pay project at the Dec. 15 meeting with a plan to be presented by Armstead and City Police Chief Brad Anderson

• Will review grant ideas from Tiano-Knopp Associates

• Learned that the Blink car charging station will be considered by a local motel, not by the city

• Approved the changes to Stop Streets Designated Ordinance 343.05

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the Ripley Municipal Building.