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Published: Wednesday, 10/24/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

City to borrow $15M to repair water plant roof

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The Toledo water treatment plant in East Toledo last year. The Toledo water treatment plant in East Toledo last year.
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Toledo City Council dug into the city’s treasury Tuesday for some emergency repairs and unexpected costs, and it authorized the city to borrow $15 million to repair the roof at the water treatment plant in East Toledo.

“An outside engineering firm was retained to evaluate the condition of the water treatment plant and identified the deterioration of the roofs and structural steel supports over the west and east plant filter galleries, flocculation basins, and connecting hallways,” city records said.

The loan would come from the Ohio EPA Water Supply Revolving Loan Account and/or the Ohio Water Development Authority.

The interest rate could be about 3 percent, city spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei said.

Ms. Sorgenfrei said borrowing the money at that rate would be cheaper than selling bonds to fund the improvements.

Council voted 11-0 to authorize the loan. Councilman Adam Martinez was not present at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The city also could pay $200,000 for loan application fees and project costs.

Council on Tuesday also voted to spend $184,000 from the city’s general fund to pay for unbudgeted staffing and maintenance at Toledo’s municipal swimming pools this summer.

Councilman Rob Ludeman called the overage unacceptable and questioned why the city had exceeded the budget by 20 percent.

“I will support it because we have to pay our bills,” he said.

Councilman Steven Steel pointed out that the city decided to open Roosevelt Pool after the 2012 budget was approved.

Council voted 11-0 to authorize spending $27,653 from the city’s general fund to repair the liner at the Hoffman Road Landfill.

It was damaged by a city worker using an excavator.

Miller Bros. Construction Inc. was hired to repair the liner. Public Service Director Ed Moore said the liner was fixed and that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency did not cite the city for the accident.

In other business, council approved refinancing $5.37 million in general obligation bonds at a 2.85 percent interest rate, down from the current rate of 6.25 percent.

The refinanced bonds are for LaSalle Apartments LLC. The bonds were used to remodel and rehabilitate downtown Toledo’s former Lasalle’s department store building into apartments.

Under the original deal, the property owner was required to offer 40 percent of its 131 apartments to low-income or income-restricted tenants.

That mandate was a condition for a 15-year tax credit, which has expired.

There also was an income restriction attached to the current bonds, but with the refinancing, the property owner is allowed to transform every unit to market rate.



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