July 26, 2012WOLFEBORO — Selectmen authorized the refunding of existing water bonds at its July 11 meeting, paving the way for a savings of $264,000 in interest. "You get lucky once in a while," said Finance Director Peter Chamberlin, expressing pleasure in the opportunity to participate in the upcoming September bond sale.
Chamberlin said in a letter to Town Manager Dave Owen that Sheila St. Germain, Executive Director of the Bond Bank, told those gathered at a meeting he attended that there was the potential to refund approximately $45 million across the communities participating and that she felt that the calculation of the savings was conservative.
He explained to this reporter that the structure of the loan will remain the same, but the loan schedule will be recalculated at a lower interest rate. The changes will have a positive impact on rates charged to Wolfeboro water users.
In other financial news relating to the water system, the board learned that the $500,000 revolving loan for water meter upgrades approved by voters in March will be guaranteed 30 per cent loan forgiveness by the state.
That means, said Chamberlin, that the debt service will be rescheduled and the total amount owed by the town will be reduced to $350,000.
The Wolfeboro water system provides water and fire protection to approximately 2,300 service connections serving around 5,750 people. Of those connections 240 are for summer seasonal use. There are 260 fire hydrants.
The six-page report of the Department of Environmental Services survey of the system in 2011, recently available, observed, "The system is well maintained and is operated by competent, professional staff. Water quality meets current primary water quality standards, and the town is in compliance with lead and copper standards at customers' taps."
It noted Manager Scott Pike's assistance and the department's "aggressive replacement programs for lines which their computer model indicates need for replacement" and the replacement of 5,000 feet of water main last year. Glendon, Lehner, School and Union Streets are recent beneficiaries of new lines.
The improved water distribution system solves taste and odor problems and improves water quality. According to the report, the distribution improvements have reduced flushing time substantially. Less treated water has to go through the system, thereby reducing costs.