Board approves sewer budget, police station financing

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FARMINGTON — Selectmen awarded a contract for financing the police station renovations to Franklin Savings Bank during their meeting Tuesday.

After discussing proposals submitted by five local banks and the uncertainty of  rates this fall on a Maine Municipal Bond Bank loan, selectmen chose a 15-year note with FSB for the $490,000 needed to convert the Franklin Avenue medical building into the town’s new police station.

Although there is a $500 fee with the FSB note, the rate of interest for the first five years is 3.9 percent, Town Manager Richard Davis said. It can then increase up to 4.7 percent but averages at 4.47, according to the bank proposal. 

For the 15 year note, the total interest on the $490,000 principal would be $187,052 as compared to $267,347 for a 20-year loan.

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The annual payment on a 15-year loan is about $45,000 compared to $38,000 for 20 years.

Selectman Ryan Morgan moved to pursue the 15-year note in an attempt to save interest paid on the loan and the board agreed unanimously.

The board postponed signing an agreement with the architect for the project. Craig Boone of Bunker and Savage Architects will be invited to the board’s next meeting to answer questions, including copy and mileage costs.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a 2011 Sewer Department budget of  $1,199,568, down from the 2010 budget of $1,211,990.

The budget reflects increases in capital improvement costs, supplies and planned repairs and decreases in the department’s utilities and health insurance costs.

Sewer rates will remain the same as last year with a residential/rental rate of $38.34 per 500 cubic feet and $7.667 for each additional 100 cubic feet.  The commercial rate remains at $49.63 per 500 cubic foot and $9.925 for each additional 100 cubic feet.

Proposed capital improvements include a $30,000 upgrade to a Granite Heights pump station. This is the end of all pump station upgrades, Steve Moore, wastewater treatment superintendent told the board.

Some other improvements include $15,000 for four buildings for pump stations, work on the Tannary Brook line, replacement of light fixtures at the plant and riprap to curb bank erosion on the plant property. About 300 feet of property along the Sandy River is being cut pretty hard, Moore said. He estimated $10,000 for the riprap to preserve the affected riverside.

The board also endorsed a proclamation naming May 21 as Arbor Day in Farmington. Bobbie Hanstein, conservation commission chairman, said the committee would work on trees and trails in Flint and Bonney Woods in observance of the day. All are invited to help, she said.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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