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Ennis Daily News

Interest rate sheds light on Bardwell

The city has seen a hard proposal from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on its part of the Lake Bardwell stimulus work under negotiation for months.
Stretching back to last summer, the negotiations have been marked up to this point with waiting and questions. Now, the Corps proposes a plan that would allow the city to split up its nearly $470,000 obligation into annual payments — with interest. A 4.125-percent rate submitted as the amortization interest by the Corps this month would mean the city would pay significantly more over the 30-year life of the payment plan.

In this case, the convenience afforded by the option to amortize would not come cheap.

The city recognizes a worst-case scenario in this plan, one that has come as a somewhat welcome baseline for continued negotiation.

Working toward a “zero” obligation, as city management has put it, is our recommendation, as well.

The additional $27,100 payments to amortize the debt, paired with the city’s annual support funding, puts the city at nearly a half a million dollars into the lake every year. It’s an important water and recreation source, so it is not an obligation the city takes lightly.

The involvement of a U.S. legislator in the form of Joe Barton has also factored in to the process of working with the Corps — city manager Steve Howerton has reported favorably on the congressman’s office’s help.

In all, the news of this offer helps us as the taxpayers who will ultimately support the increased city obligation to understand the situation just a little bit more. Previously, the concept has been somewhat nebulous for its lack of hard figures beyond the initial $1.7 million funding hike that sent city officials into problem-solving mode. It’s good to know more.

As we said, the important thing to focus on now is really working toward the best-case scenario of no financial obligation for the taxpayers of Ennis.

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Posted by on Apr 29 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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