Rural Development won’t refinance River Falls loan

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The River Falls Town Council heard some bad news on its proposed water improvement project Tuesday night.

Joe Harmon of David Hicks and Associates told the council that despite their attempt to get a waiver from the USDA Rural Development, they were denied a refinance on an existing loan.

Harmon said Rural Development simply isn’t doing refinancing this fiscal year.

They did ask for information about the more than $200,000 stolen from the town by former Mayor Mary Hixon.

“Montgomery wanted more information about the money that was stolen,” Harmon said. “We did get a letter back and they are holding to their no refinancing.”

Harmon explained that the money appropriated to Rural Development is not authorized for refinancing by Congress.

However, Harmon did say the city should be able to get a 45 percent grant.

The street and water project, which started at nearly half a million dollars, has grown to $775,000 because council members chose to add improvements to Sunnyside Street.

Other work to be done includes:

• 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.

The project would include replacing old cast iron mains that have been there since the 1960s and replace the undersized mains that cause pressure problems for residents.

The council will have to finance the rest of the money. Harmon was told to proceed with the project.