The Grantsville City Council reviewed on Wednesday a potential financing option for its multi-million dollar project to replace water and sewer lines under Main Street.
Amy Ivy from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development discussed the terms of a 2.75 percent interest loan over 40 years, which is available to communities with a population under 10,000 people.
While Grantsville has likely eclipsed the population figure, the USDA uses the 2010 Census figures, which lists the population at 8,893.
Due to the city’s median income, it doesn’t qualify for grants through the USDA, Ivy said. The 40-year term of the loan is longer than typical, however, and low interest.
The city is looking at a total project cost for Main Street to be approximately $8 million, with the city paying $2 million up front, according to Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall.
To receive the USDA funds, the city would need to complete engineering and environmental studies within the federal department’s guidelines and interim financing during construction. Once the project was complete, the USDA loan would commence.
The city intends to replace the water and sewer lines in conjunction with a reconstruction of Main Street by the Utah Department of Transportation in 2019. Marshall said the city’s cast iron water and sewer lines are old and in poor condition.
“Last week, we fixed a water leak on Main Street,” he said. “We fixed one today, we fixed one a couple weeks ago. It’s just continuous as this cast iron line is failing.”
To afford the multi-million dollar project, the city is reviewing a new tiered water rate, which would mean an increase in cost to users in the future. Marshall said the USDA could provide guidance on the water rate increase if the department provides financing on the project.
In addition to the water and sewer lines, Marshall said the city could add the replacement of the North Well to the same loan. The project, expected to cost about $1 million, would replace the North Well, which is underperforming with a damaged well casing.
If not included in the same project, the well replacement would be pushed off until 2026, seven years beyond previously scheduled replacement date.
“It makes sense to me to combine it,” Councilman Tom Tripp said.
The city council could also look to combine other projects into the loan, such as the replacement of water and sewer lines on Burmester Road, Marshall said.