At city council’s April 2 meeting, Zermeno said he met with in San Antonio with SARA officials to discuss financing the needed repairs.
“They were considering loaning us $1 million so we could start the rehab of our plant,” Zermeno told the council. “That would still leave us with half a million to three-quarter of a million to complete the job. (SARA) was ready to take that to their board.”
Zermeno said the loan would be short-term, approximately five years.
“They knew we were not in a position to do that,” Zermeno said. “The (SARA) director of finance offered to have SARA issue bonds to finance our project. He said they could issue up to $2 million in bonds to do all the rehab and give us like a 20-year payout. he said that was on the table if we wanted to proceed with that. I needed to get some feedback from council.”
Zermeno said the total rehab for the plant would cost approximately $2 million.
“SARA is on hold, waiting on a decision from us,” Zermeno said. “They will actually be the bond issuers. They will basically do all the work for us as far as the financing.”
“You have run the numbers and we’re good to go as far as the 20 years?” Mayor Jay Harvey asked Zermeno.
“I’m not comfortable with the numbers yet,” Zermeno said. “I told SARA we are looking at our fund balances. ... We are still a few weeks out.”
Councilman Buddy Zavesky suggested the Municipal Development District could help fund the project with infrastructure.
“There are things we can filter from them to help us out,” Zavesky said.
“I think we can handle that over 20 years,” Zermeno said. “I would be comfortable saying let’s do it. I think our payments would be about $146,000 a year.”
“We’ve got to do something,” Harvey said. “Twenty years down the road, we’ll be sitting in the same boat saying I wish we would have done something. We’ve been repairing, repairing and repairing. I don’t know if we’ll ever get this opportunity again.”
In business items:
• council unanimously approved an increase for water tap fees from $550 to $734 for short taps and from $1,000 to $1,184 for long taps to cover the increased cost of the new meters;
• council unanimously rejected a 20-percent user fee for sub-contracting the city swimming pool for swimming lessons and water aerobics classes;
• council unanimously approved the advertising of the position of community and economic development director;
• council unanimously approved the authorization of Mayor Harvey to sign an amendment to the state park concessions contract.