Fayette avoids water bill hike for new equipment

Fayette County water customers won’t be facing a water bill hike to fund $9 million in federally-mandated improvements to the county’s two water treatment plants.

Instead the cost will be covered in large part by savings from a refinancing of the county’s 2002 bond series, which has $15.59 million outstanding and now will have a lower interest rate.

The bonds were authorized by the Fayette County Commission at its meeting March 22. They were rated AA bonds by both Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poors, county consultants said.

The improvements will add a magnetic ion exchange system to both the Crosstown and South Fayette water treatment plants in an effort to remove total organic compounds from the treated drinking water.

The new treatment process is needed to meet impending federal clean water guidelines that are much more stringent than those currently in place, county officials have said previously.

County Administrator Jack Krakeel noted that Merchant Capital agreed to significantly discount its fees for the transaction, which he felt was a much-appreciated gesture by the company. The end result was that the fees were “well below market rate,” Krakeel said.