City saves nearly a million

Published 6:06 am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We commend City of Bainbridge officials for recently making a move that will save taxpayers $858,029 on the cost of the city’s sewer master plan.

Back in 2008, the city had taken out two multi-million dollar loans through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to pay for work associated with a plan to extend sewer service throughout most of existing city limits.

The initial loans’ effective rate was 4.57 percent. By taking advantage of favorable conditions in the financial markets, city officials were able to essentially re-finance one of the loans, which had a balance of $9.4 million, down to a rate of 3.15 percent.

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That move will save the city, and thus taxpayers, an estimated $858,029 over the 20-year life of the original loans.

While the progress of the current phase of the sewer master plan has seemed slow to some, we can’t argue that the plan to extend sewer service to neighborhoods where it may not have been available for many years is a good one.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that while septic tanks can serve a useful purpose, they can also contribute to water pollution, especially if they are not properly managed over time. Sites that accept sludge disposal are also becoming more rare.

In continuing to make the sewer master plan as cost-efficient as possible, Bainbridge officials are saving homeowners the trouble and expense of having to deal with broken-down septic tanks. It’s also good fiscal sense.