A previously approved loan for a project related to water upgrades that ultimately required more funding, approved by Duncan Council members last week, was finalized Tuesday by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB).
Loan funding that was on Duncan City Council’s November 9th agenda for approval of an increase after reviewing estimated project budgets totaled $ 26,450,000 from the OWRB. According to the city, the first application was for $ 16.2 million, funded through the Financial Assistance Program (FAP), and the second application was for $ 10.250,000 and was made through the Oklahoma Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) funded.
The funds approved for the Duncan Public Utilities Authority (DPUA) in the first loan will be used to “replace water pipes throughout the system and improve the water treatment plan”, while the funds in the second loan will be used for “installing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI. )) and to replace around 13,000 water meters and 9,600 electricity meters with automatic reading devices. “
Nate Ellis, Public Finance Law Group, explained to the council on November 9th why the increase was necessary.
“We approved this meter replacement loan at the end of September when we took out the other two loans from the water authority,” he said. “Since then, based on the type of estimated project budget, it has been determined that you need to raise approximately $ 10 million and a quarter million, as opposed to the $ 6.2 million originally approved. So this is basically just another approval for a higher dollar amount. “
The council approved it 4-0 and sent it back to higher authorities who approved it on November 16.
“These loans would both move forward and expected to close in the second, third, fourth weeks of December,” said Ellis.
The loan for the new meters will enable DPUA, according to documentation, “to better monitor and bill the water and electricity consumption of its citizens, which ultimately reduces water and energy consumption”. The same records show that the project is helping to achieve “Oklahomas Water for 2060 goals by focusing on water conservation by reducing accidental flows into the wastewater treatment plant and recognized under Oklahoma’s Nonpoint Source Management Plan for improved energy efficiency which helps reduce the atmospheric deposition of mercury in nearby waters. “
According to OWRB, Joe Freeman, director of the OWRB’s grants, calculated that the agency’s clients will save an estimated $ 3,719,800 over the life of the two loans compared to traditional financing combined. The paperwork shows that the loans are secured with a lien on the revenue from the agency’s water, sewer, sewer and electrical systems and a one cent sales tax. A DPUA representative said, “On behalf of the people of Duncan, we would like to thank the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The board’s loan programs have helped meet the cost of upgrading the city’s water and sanitation infrastructure. We would like to especially thank the employees of the OWRB for their hard work and support. “
Ellis also briefed on the fire station project and the loan the bids were being made on. Ellis said the lowest rate to date was 1.98% fixed rate in 15 years, so “this is moving forward.”
The next city council meeting for Duncan will be on Friday, November 19th at 5:15 pm. This meeting is a special session at which a new city council member is appointed to the board for the vacant position in District 1.
The Duncan Council meets in the Council Chambers, located in the Duncan Police Department on 7th Street.