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City of Brownton considers funding options for up to $8 million project

The city of Brownton can probably afford a comprehensive street and utility project, but not much else over the next 20 years.
That was the message David Drown of David Drown Associates had for the Brownton City Council at a workshop session Tuesday, Oct. 27. Drown is the city’s financial consultant.
The city is looking at spending $6 million to $8 million over the next couple of years to fix and replace water, sewer and storm sewers, as well as the streets that are above those utilities.
John Rodeberg of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), the city’s engineering consultant, said the city is applying for funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program. That will come in the form of grants and low-interest loans. If approved, up to 45 percent of sanitary sewer costs will be paid for through grants, while most of the rest of the project will qualify for low-interest loans. About $1.9 million will need to be provided by the city through a general obligation bond to cover costs not covered by the USDA. That bond will likely run for 20 years.
Drown said the city has several options for repaying the low-interest loans — assessments to benefitting properties, raises in utility rates, increasing property taxes and replacing expiring bonds with new ones.
For more see the Nov. 4 print edition of The Chronicle.