I have never written to a newspaper before and never thought I would. I’ve been the rreasurer of Wilmington Water District since 1991 and I am very concerned about the bond vote coming up on March 18.
The EPA is requiring that the district comply with the LT2 rule to reduce illness linked with a parasite. Because this is health related, the district has finally been able to receive financing from the state. This financing will be at a very low or even a negative interest rate, which means much of the “loan” will be considered a grant and not have to be repaid. An income survey has been completed and the signs look good for a negative rate.
The commissioners and their engineer have been studying the best, most cost-effective way to comply with the rule for the last two years. They have made a decision on the best way to proceed, which should also lower some of the operating costs in the future. On top of that, there is a project to replace the 110-year-old lines on Fairview Avenue. The engineering on that project was done many years ago, but financing was not available. There would be enough bond money to complete this project also and eliminate the many water line leaks and breaks that happen on that part of the line.
No matter what happens with the bond vote, the project to comply with the LT2 rule will still have to be done. If the bond does not pass, we will have to try to borrow at regular bank rates. If the project is not completed by October, the EPA will be levying fines.
If the bond passes, the district will be told what the rate will be. If it is not the best rate, they will drop parts of the projects they have planned in order to keep the repayment costs as low as possible. I believe passing this bond is the most cost-effective option.
This is not a whim of the commissioners to borrow a million dollars just because they can. The proceeds will be used to keep the water clean and to make sure the infrastructure is sound.
Please vote yes on March 18. Voting will be held at the Wilmington Firehouse from 10 am to 7 pm
Treasurer, Wilmington Water District, Wilmington