VALPARAISO | The city's Utilities Board took action Tuesday to save $90,000 a year on its loan repayments and save the sewer and water customers about 1 percent on the planned rate increases for next year.
The utilities have $4.875 million left on a waterworks revenue bond issued in 2002, which is scheduled to be paid off in 2022. The sewer division has $8.4 million left on a 2000 sewage works revenue bone that runs until February 2021.
The board voted to proceed with refinancing both bond issues at rates its financial consultant H.J. Umbaugh and Associates said should save the utilities $45,000 a year in interest for each and a total of $700,000 over the remaining term of the bonds.
The measure now goes to the council at its Oct. 14 meeting. The proposed three-year phase-in of about a 33 percent hike for both the sewer and the water rates will be presented to the board at its Oct. 22 meeting and, if approved, go to the council Oct. 28. It would be up for final approval at the council's Nov. 11 meeting.
The rate increases are needed to pay for upgrades to both systems and replacement of the aging infrastructure, including drilling of a new wellfield to meet water supply needs for the next 20 years or more.
The water treatment plant will have to provide an additional million gallons a day for the new Pratt Industries recycled paper mill, which also is expected to produce an additional 600,000 of sewage a day beginning in July 2015.
The board also approved an agreement with the developer and the contractor for the construction of 802 feet of ductile iron water lines, hydrants and fittings for the first phase of the Preserve at Grande Oaks, to be built just west of Eisenhower Road north of Glendale Boulevard.
The development will eventually have 160 apartments in 10 buildings. The first phase will have four 16-unit apartment buildings and the clubhouse.