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Village Board receives good news about sewer utility upgrade loan
Soldiers Grove
Soldiers Grove

SOLDIERS GROVE - The Soldiers Grove Village Board got some very good news about the interest rate on their Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Clean Water Fund (CWF) loan for their sewer system improvement project. The news of the 20-year, zero-percent-interest loan was delivered to the board by Community Development Alternatives (CDA) Gary Koch at their May 5 meeting.

“The part of the project that the original Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the WDNR CWF grant/loan won’t pay for comes to $210,986,” Koch explained. “This is the amount that the WDNR CWF loan will be for, and I was shocked when the paperwork came, and the interest rate listed was zero.”

Koch said that the reason for the unbelievably low interest rate is because of the village’s low median household income (less than 65 percent of the statewide median household income), and because the population of the village is less than 1,000 people. He said that the closing will take place on May 25, and the amount would be wired to the account the board approved for the loan.

In a nutshell, what this means is that of the total $1,376,126 cost of the sewer system improvement project, $854,383 is paid by the CDBG Grant, $303,257 by the WDNR CWF Grant, and $210,986 by a WDNR CWF zero-percent, twenty-year loan.

The board took action on two resolutions at their meeting that positioned them to receive the $514,243 in CWF funds.

First, they approved a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of up to $210,986 in sewerage system revenue bonds. Second, they approved a related $514,243 financial assistance agreement. The board voted unanimously by roll call vote to approve the two resolutions.

“This couldn’t have turned out better,” Soldiers Grove Village President Paul Nicholson observed. “The reason it turned out so well is because of the invaluable assistance the village received from Gary Koch and CDA, Delta-3 Engineering, and our village clerk Kaitlynn Ott who has worked countless hours on the project.”

Koch provided some additional explanation to the board about why the two resolutions were necessary.

“The obligation to WDNR must be paid entirely from sewer system revenue, and this is why the new bonds must be issued” Koch told the board. “WDNR requires the village to have a debt service fund where sewer system revenue to pay the loan will be transferred, and this will function as assurance to the bond holder, and be the only authorized use of the funds.”

Koch said that part of the security for the loan is guaranteeing the village’s ability to raise their sewer rates as-needed in order to service the debt. He explained that the bonds would have primacy, and that any other new bonds issued during the period would be junior or subordinate to the bonds the board had approved.

Koch explained that the second resolution pertained to final disposition of the CDBG Grant, acknowledging that the village’s share of the cost of the project is $514,243.

In other business

In other business, the board:

• agreed to defer consideration of a variance for a fence at the Tobacco Warehouse Inn for Noel Miller to the next meeting, where a public hearing about the variance will immediately precede the meeting

• agreed to pay Lincoln Marketing, and for flowers for the planters in the village, out of Community Development Corporation (CDC) funds

• unsealed and approved a $19,220 bid from Mark Swiggum to replace the wall currently made up of solar panels on the Soldiers Grove Fire Department building – the amount to be paid 50/50 out of village and fire department funds

• approved the purchase of two chemical feed pumps ($1,200 each) for the sewer plant

• approved a bid in the amount of $1,000 from McCormick Electric to repair the lights in the village office

• heard that the board had approved a bid for $6,700 from Stussy Tree Service for tree removal at the cemetery at their special board meeting held on April 19.