Friday, September 30, 2022

Knowlton Seeks Refinancing Sewer Debt for Lower Rates to be Paid Off by Commercial Users

A bond ordinance for $1.3 million was finalized at the July Township Committee meeting to pay off the town’s sewerage plant that serves commercial properties at the Route I-80 interchange.

The cost of the bond will not be borne by taxpayers, rather, it will be paid by the commercial users of the plant in the service area in Columbia, said Mayor Adele Starrs.

For the past 20 years the township has been paying only the interest on the plant. This bond ordinance will allow the township to refinance at a lower rate and pay off the principle along with the interest over the next 20 years, Starrs said.

The Knowlton sewer plant. Photo by J. Phalon, July 2022

Sherry Tracey, the township’s bond counsel, said that now is a good time to refinance. She said the township is currently paying 6 percent rate on the interest, which could be lowered to 4 percent. The lower interest rate would benefit the businesses that use the facility, she said. Those customers could see lower costs as they reimburse the township to pay off the bond.

A new business in Knowlton. Photo by J. Phalon, July 2022

The township pays the upfront costs of the facility, which are then passed along to the businesses that use the plant. All the costs of the plant, as well as the refinancing, will be paid by the businesses, not the Knowlton taxpayers, Starrs said.

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