published Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Kimball to borrow for sewer repairs

By Ryan Lewis

BY THE NUMBERS

1,300: Feet of sewer line to be repaired

$140,000: Cost of repairs

$150,000: Loan amount

1.1 percent: Interest rate

Source: Kimball

KIMBALL, Tenn. — Instead of emptying the town’s sewer fund, city administrators have decided to borrow the money needed to pay for major repairs to about 1,300 feet of sewer line.

On Thursday, the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to borrow the money when members found out the town could get the loan with a 1.1 percent interest rate.

Kimball Mayor David Jackson said his office put out bids for the loan just to see what rates city leaders would be getting if they decided to borrow the money.

“We called and got some bids just in case, and we do have one for $150,000 at 1.1 percent,” he said. “We’d pay $75,000 the first year, and then $75,000 the next year.”

Jackson said if they paid for the sewer line repairs, which currently total almost $140,000, through the town’s sewer funds it would “pretty much wipe out what we’ve got left in it.”

Alderman Mark Payne, who made the motion to borrow the money, said using the sewer fund to pay for the repairs is not a very good idea.

“I understand what can happen if the [sewer] fund gets out of whack,” he said.

Payne said if the sewer fund is depleted, the mayor, city attorney, and city accountant would face some tough questions by state officials.

“If [the mayor], our attorney and our accountant have to go to Nashville, it would cost us just as much in those fees as it would to pay the percentage on the loan,” he said. “I’d rather go ahead and borrow the money and see to it that the [sewer] fund is in line with state laws.”

Jackson said a former city attorney had to make that trip to Nashville years ago and said later he would not go back.

“If your sewer fund gets in the red, [state officials] don’t talk very nicely to you,” he said. “This will not put us in bad debt. It’s not something that we can’t afford to do.”

The board agreed to accept the current bid for the loan unless another bid came in with an even lower interest rate.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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