Special Election/Funding source for construction phase | NevadaAppeal.com

Special Election/Funding source for construction phase

Nancy Dallas

SILVER SPRINGS – A special election could save Silver Springs residents $1.3 million in wastewater treatment facility construction costs.

The Silver Springs General Improvement District needs to borrow about $2 million to complete funding for the project.

A plan to sell general obligation bonds with the State Revolving Loan Fund was put on hold in June when residents, hoping to derail the project, submitted a petition to the Lyon County Commissioners asking the sale of the bonds be put to a public vote. The commissioners, acting as the district board, put the issue on the November 2000 ballot, and agreed to proceed with the project using a conventional loan.

Some residents have persistently opposed the sewer treatment district, saying the rates are too high for those on limited incomes.

State law provides for general obligation bonds that requires a vote of district residents. A “no” vote is needed to pursue other funding sources.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development official Mike Holm has provided new numbers, offering potentially higher savings if general obligation bonds are used. That has caused commissioners to look at a special election as soon as possible prior to the end of the fiscal year in June 2000.

“In visiting with Mike (Holm), we felt there was a big enough savings to make the effort at a special election,” said Lyon County Manager Stephen Snyder. “If it passes there would be a cost savings to residents. It would keep costs down over time.”

Snyder said a loan through the revolving loan fund would save between $36,000 to $50,000 a year, totaling $1.3 million in savings if extended through a full 40 years.

In asking for a special election, Holm said the county’s Rural Development Department needs time, in the event residents reject the bonding, to cancel the federal loan forming the basis of the cost saving plan and proceed with conventional bonding.

Bids for the $10 million project were awarded on Dec. 2. Work is expected to begin by spring.

Commissioners have approved a temporary loan of $108,000 to the district to cover costs until financing is in place.

The district was first conceived in 1989. Following failed attempts by other agencies to get it off the ground, the county commissioners were requested to take the lead in 1998. They will remain as the district Board of Trustees until the system is completed and local board elections are conducted.