City of Trenton eligible for lower interest rate when borrowing to pay for improvements

Trenton Utility Committee

The city of Trenton is eligible for a much lower interest rate when it decides to borrow money to pay for improvements now underway and those that are planned at the Trenton sewer plant.

Utility committee members Tuesday evening reviewed preliminary information that shows Trenton could borrow money at a fixed interest rate of three point six percent for a 2- year loan. That compares to a rate of four point nine five percent obtained last year on certificates of participation to finance the effluent disinfection project.

The balance of that project will be combined with the cost of headworks financing to create the amount to be borrowed which will be $6,102,395. Over the lifetime of the loan, more than two and a half million would be paid in interest money. Trenton’s improved credit rating is said to contribute to a lower interest rate and more interest from banks. A financial adviser is to make a formal presentation on financing when the city council meets on Monday night.

Although there have been construction delays due to weather, the sewer plant supervisor indicated the effluent disinfection portion was about 75% complete.

The utility committee is forwarding several recommendations to the council including the 24th and Pleasant Plain sewer line project; a revision in the net metering policy, purchase of wooden poles and motorized air break switches.

The committee also recommends the council proceed with plans for equipment upgrades and maintenance at the water treatment plant.

What’s described as a leaking line that’s being protected by a tarp, involves ten-inch cured-in-place pipe to make sewer line repairs at 24th and Pleasant Plain. The proposed cost for SAK Construction of O’Fallon to line over 1,100 feet of pipe is $41,400. The council is to consider the additional work via a change order since the contractor currently in Trenton is working on the Normal street sewer rehab project.

For the electric department, the committee recommends accepting the low bid from Border States Electric on four motorized, gang-operated, air brake switches. The cost of the items to replace those over 30 years old is $ 37,800. The committee recommends the purchase of 47 power poles from McFarland at a cost of $10, 700. The wooden poles range from 30 to 40 feet in length.

Trenton Municipal is seeking bids from a company to print and mail utility bills that will compare the quote to the cost of an employee doing the work. Bids are due July 10.

Net metering means measuring the difference between the electricity supplied by the utility and the electricity generated by a consumer who’s installed solar power and fed back to the electric grid. The council will consider changing the credit to a fixed rate of three cents per kilowatt hour with the credit appearing on the customers’ bill.