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Hagerstown City Council considers borrowing $19 million for projects

September 17, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council is considering whether to borrow $19 million in bond financing to help pay for several projects that are under way.

City Finance Director Alfred Martin told the council Tuesday that by borrowing the money now, the city could secure a favorable interest rate. He said the city probably would pay back the money over a 15- or 20-year period at an 8 percent to 10 percent interest rate.

Martin said if the council approves, the city would begin soliciting private investment firms for the best rate Dec. 8 and receive the money by the end of this year.

In addition to covering the general bond financing needs in the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2008-09, the money would be used to pay for "unfunded financing commitments on already approved projects" and unanticipated project costs, according to city documents.

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Martin said some of the projects that the bond financing would cover in 2009 include:

  • $428,005 to improve the wastewater system on Jonathan Street

  • $1.29 million to widen Eastern Boulevard

  • $3 million to make disinfection improvements at the Wastewater Treatment Plant

    Martin said he brought the issue before the council Tuesday so the city would have plenty of time to borrow the money by the end of this year.

    The council is to vote on the matter next month.

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