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|West Monroe aldermen agree to bond sale|
The city of West Monroe will issue some $1.5 million in sewer bonds to assist with the ongoing construction of a wastewater reprocessing facility, the West Monroe Board of Aldermen decided Tuesday night.
Aldermen acted on the matter at their regular meeting.
The low-interest bonds will be paid off with sewer revenues, but Mayor Dave Norris said the city is hopeful the city may not have to pay back all of the money on its own.
"Hopefully, if all the stimulus money isn't spent, the government will forgive a portion of these bonds," Norris said.
West Monroe will share responsibility for repayment of the debt with the West Ouachita Sewer District No. 5.
The money will be used to help pay for part of a $20-million wastewater project aimed at relieving the Sparta Aquifer. The project would allow Graphic Packaging to use recycled wastewater in its production instead of drawing water from the Sparta. Graphic currently draws some 10 million gallons of water per day from the Sparta.
That project is currently under way and is scheduled for completion sometime next year.
On another front at Tuesday's meeting, the board of aldermen agreed to advertise for a number of Sparta-related items, including pump motors and equipment.
Two previously approved bids were rejected and readvertised after city officials learned the bids may have violated an obscure provision in the federal law approving them, called a "buy American" provision.
A buy American provision means the bid requirements must specify utilizing American-made products when available. Usually, the entire body of the project is examined. This time, Norris said the city learned that every bid would have to carry a buy American provision.
Meanwhile, aldermen approved a bid for construction of a building to house part of the wastewater reuse project, including some work to the construction site.
"We think we're clear on the dirt work and the building." Norris said.
West Monroe finance officer Benny Chelette said bids on those projects were already in compliance because local companies were being used.
"The bill doesn't say that buy American has to be in the specs," Chelette said. "It has to be in the product."