County, Townships Sewer Contract Gets Final OK

Washtenaw County commissioners have given final approval to amend a contract between the county, Lyndon Township and Sylvan Township. [.pdf of original contract] The unanimous vote occurred at the county board’s Sept. 4, 2013 meeting, following initial approval on Aug. 7.

In February 2013, county commissioners voted to refinance debt for a sewer system in Lyndon and Sylvan townships, on the county’s west side. The resolution authorized the sale of refunding bonds that would be used to pay the remaining principal on existing bonds that were sold in 2004. That year, the county sold $5.115 million in bonds to help the townships pay for the sewer. Of that amount, $2.225 million remained to be repaid, prior to the refunding. The project built sewers at Cavanaugh, Sugar Loaf, Cassidy, Crooked, and Cedar Lakes. It’s funded through special assessments on property around those lakes and payments by the Sugar Loaf Lake State Park and Cassidy Lake State Corrections Facility.

In March 2013, the county received bids for the refunding, with the lowest bid from Hastings City Bank at an interest rate of 1.749838%. As a result of this refunding, only $695,000 in debt remains on this bond issue. Lyndon Township was able to cash reserves and redeemed all of their outstanding debt for this project.

The contract amendments given final approval by county commissioners on Sept. 4 remove Lyndon Township from any responsibility for debt retirement and reduce the amount of debt for Sylvan Township. All other provisions of the contract remain in place until the bonds are paid off in 2022. Both township boards have previously approved these changes, according to a staff memo.

This sewer system is separate from a controversial water and wastewater treatment plant project in Sylvan Township. For more background on that project, see Chronicle coverage: “County Board OKs Sylvan Twp. Contract.”

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main. A more detailed report will follow: [link]