Satilla Regional Water and Sewer Authority’s anticipation of building a wastewater treatment plant has been put on the shelf, at least for the foreseeable future.
Members of the SRWSA signed a bond resolution Tuesday refinancing the authority’s USDA note after a meeting held at the SRWSA office, said director Henry McLaughlin, and in so doing saved just under $5.5 million.
The SRWSA has finalized the last of the bond refunding, saving customers a total of $5,454,819 during the life of the bonds, said McLaughlin.
“The savings will put Satilla in a much better position to continue to supply the most economical service available to our customers,” said McLaughlin. “The SRWSA would like to thank the entire customer base for allowing us to supply your water and sewer service. And we wish all of you a Merry Christmas.”
The authority board members had in the summer approved a resolution calling for the refinancing of its current loans with an eye toward building a wastewater treatment plant within the next two years.
But for the foreseeable future, that treatment plant is not going to happen, McLaughlin said.
“It looks like right now we will not have to do that,” said McLaughlin. “The City of Waycross we believe will agree next week at their meeting to sign our agreement. This puts us in a better position that if the city does not sign our agreement, we could go forward with the construction of a treatment plant. But we are very hopeful that they will agree.”
The contract between Waycross and SRWSA will, as discussed in a city meeting on Nov. 30, lower the rate the authority will pay to the city and agree to terms for 10 years.
McLaughlin said the savings from the bond refunding will prevent the SRWSA from having to increase rates on its customers in the future, but still allows them the funds to build the treatment plant it if is deemed necessary in the future.
“We are very, very pleased,” said McLaughlin. “It feels very good to have accomplished this after working on it for a year with underwriting agencies. We feel good in talking with the city manager and city engineer that we have come up with a good agreement. We are very hopeful that the commission will approve.”
A few months ago, board members agreed to the plan to refinance $12.8 million in existing loans and board chairman Burton Carter signed the resolution at the end of that meeting.