WELLSVILLE — The latest project in Frederick Heights will end up not increasing the Buckeye Water District’s debt after the utility refinanced some long-term loans.
Tax officer Tiffany Chetock reported to the BWD board Thursday morning that the district had refinanced United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans through the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA). ), which will generate annual savings of $154,229.
Over the life of the loans, the Buckeye Water District will save $3.9 million, which is enough to cover Frederick Heights Phase 2a and 2b debt payments, Chetock said, without negatively impacting the budget.
Prior to the refinancing, BWD was making $831,419 in loan repayments per year to the USDA, which will now be reduced to $677,189. The new interest rates are between 1.93% and 2.22% for 19.5 years or 26 years. Board Chairman Mike Ryan pointed out that loans had been around 4.5% before and the board had hoped for even better savings, but what they got was “pretty decent.”
Chetock said the most important thing was that the terms of the loans were not increased by refinancing them.
“It’s just a creative way to keep our budget under control,” Chetock said. “You’re just trading one for the other.”
The Fredrick Heights project, the only new watermain project currently underway for BWD, continues despite the inclement weather of the past two months. District Manager Al DeAngelis reported to the Board that SouthPark Circle is complete with Woodland. Now the project will start by placing the line on the other side.
Woodland has been pressure tested and he believes that next week SouthPark Circle will be ready to be pressure tested. Additionally, DeAngelis reported that the next step in the plan is to send a crew behind where the work is being done and put the taps on.