Tag Archives: sewer plant

Lawsuit spurs city to borrow from itself to keep sewer project moving

With the bond-funded portion of Winlsow’s new sewer plant under litigation, the City Council on Wednesday narrowly approved a plan for the city to loan itself enough money to keep the project moving.

The council’s four-to-three vote allows the city sewer fund to borrow up to $3 million from the water fund.

The city plans to pay back the water fund by May 2010 or after having reached an agreement with the Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance, a citizen group that sued the city over its plan to use $6 million in bonds to pay for part of the $14.4 million sewer plant.

The alliance contends that an expected utility rate increase to pay for the plant constitutes an “illegal tax” because it may be used for unrelated capital projects, including the Winslow Way utilities upgrade. The lawsuit also asserts that the city’s bond-funding plan is inflated beyond the actual costs of the sewer project.

“Making a loan like this is not part of our financial plan. We’re here because we have to be,” Councilman Barry Peters said, noting the lawsuit’s impact on the project’s funding.

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