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BWD refinances long-term loans

WELLSVILLE — The latest project in Frederick Heights will end up not increasing the debt of the Buckeye Water District after the utility refinanced some long-term loans.

Fiscal Officer Tiffany Chetock reported to the BWD board Thursday morning the district has refinanced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans through the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA), which will generate an annual savings of $154,229.

Through the life of the loans, the Buckeye Water District will save $3.9 million, which is enough to cover the debt payments for the Frederick Heights phases 2a and 2b, Chetock explained, without having a negative impact on the budget.

Prior to the refinance, BWD was making $831,419 in loan payments per year to the USDA, which will now be reduced to $677,189. The new interest rates are between 1.93 percent and 2.22 percent for either 19.5 years or 26 years. President Mike Ryan of the board pointed out the loans were at around 4.5 percent before and the board had hoped for an even better savings, but what they got was “pretty decent.”

Chetock said most importantly, the length of the loans were not increased by refinancing them.

“It’s just a creative way of keeping our budget in check,” Chetock said. “You’re are just exchanging one for the other.”

The Fredrick Heights project, the only new waterline project currently underway for BWD, continues despite the bad weather over the past two months. District manager Al DeAngelis reported to the board SouthPark Circle is done along with Woodland. Now the project will start by placing the line on the other side.

Woodland has been pressure tested and he believes next week SouthPark Circle will be ready to pressure test. Additionally, DeAngelis reported the next step in the plan is to have a crew go in behind where the work is done and put in the taps.

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