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Money needed to handle cannibal system problem

PRINCETON – The Princeton City Council on Monday approved to refinance a $400,000 sewer debt certificate with Heartland Bank and Trust Co.

City manager Jeff Clawson on Tuesday explained the primary reason to refinance is because the sewer fund has a deficit due to complications with the new cannibal system.

He explained the system was designed to lower the amount of sludge created in the plant, however the amount has not yet been reduced.

“This has required the city to continue a $100,000-$140,000 annual expense to haul sludge,” he said. “We thought the hauling cost would drop from $140,000 to $20,000 per year. Until the cannibal system begins working properly, we will continue to have the $140,000 expense.”

Clawson said because the $400,000 debt certificate was due, he felt it made sense to pay down $100,000 and refinance the additional $300,000 over three years.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the February building permit report which showed zero permits issued, compared to four permits issued in February of last year. Last year’s permits were valued at $22,700.

• Appointed Jan English to the Princeton Public Library Board.

• Announced a special budget planning session to be held at 6 p.m. Monday.

• Announced the final Darius Miller Park meeting to be at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers. Clawson said short and long range plans for upgrades to the park, including the Amtrak parking lot, will be discussed. He said funding for the project is still a big question, which is still in discussion. The estimated cost for the park improvements is yet to be determined. The city council will be looking at ways to fund the parking lot improvements at the next special budget session meeting.

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