Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.