Water project in River Falls hits obstacle

Published 1:54 am Thursday, January 7, 2016

A nearly half million dollar street and water project in River Falls hit a small road block this week, but officials say they are determined to make the project happen.


Council members on Tuesday heard from Joe Harmon of David Hicks and Associates who notified the council that USDA Rural Development said they could not refinance an existing loan.

“What we are going to do is try to ask for a waiver,” Harmon said. “They kind of told us that we could.”

The original plan was to put some $424,000 in work to improve local streets and the town’s antiquated water system without significantly increasing the town’s loan payment.

Harmon said the current interest rate is 2.5 percent for rural development and the town’s current loan is more than 4 percent.

Work to be done included:

• Covington Street, where the original water lines are still being used. Estimated cost for that portion is $141,000;

• Taylor Road, $25,000;

• Boat Landing Road, $18,000;

• Guy Avenue, $18,000;

• Gantt Road, $48,000;

• Hwy. 84, $160,000;

• Pine Ridge, $3,000; and

• Asphalt Plant Tie-In, $11,000.


Harmon said the council expressed interest in adding Sunnyside Street.

“They felt like it wouldn’t be a better time to do it with the interest rate being so low,” Harmon said. “We have to get a cost estimate, so they can see what their final cost would be. If we are going to capitalize on the interest rate, we are going to need to do it by Feb. 1.”

Town Clerk MaryAnn Andrews said the council would like to go forward with replacing the old cast iron mains that have been there since the 1960s and replace the undersized mains that cause pressure problems for residents.