Council puts financing in place for energy savings projects


BROWNSTOWN — The town council put financing in place for two projects to reduce the town’s energy consumption during a meeting Monday evening at the town hall.

The funding, which will be available Monday, would pay for the conversion of Brownstown’s wastewater treatment plant from electricity to solar power and more than 230 streetlights from sodium vapor bulbs to LED. The projects have a combined price tag of $913,632.

In July, the council agreed to borrow up to $713,632 through D.A. Davidson of Great Falls, Montana. The council plans to fund the remainder of the projects with American Rescue Plan funds and other funds on hand.

A rebate of $257,935 in federal Inflation Reduction Act funds could be used to reduce the loan amount to $455,697. That rebate would be available in 2024 if the work is completed and the system is energized by the end of this year. The remainder of the loan would be paid with energy savings produced by the projects.

Charles Zitnik with D.A. Davidson briefly spoke about the financing with council members.

“The town received a rather favorable reception on this financing,” he said. “It seems like currently, lenders are quite interested in lending — when it comes to governmental lending — to capitals and county seats, so you have the benefit of being a county seat.”

Zitnik said the town had received an interest rate of 4.93% for 20 years.

A Kansas City firm, Winthrop, will serve as bond counsel, and Farmers Bank & Trust of Great Bend, Kansas, will be the lender, Zitnik said.

The project is expected to produce $1,330,298 over 20 years, while the initial payback for the loan is 19.32 years. That would be reduced to 16.81 years if the council decides to apply the federal Inflation Reduction Act payment toward the loan.

The council approved a resolution allowing for the execution of the loan, which will close Monday, by a 3-0 vote with Councilwoman Staci Reynolds absent.

In February, the council hired Veregy of Indianapolis to do the conversion projects.

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