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Murfreesboro receives state loans

MURFREESBORO – The Murfreesboro Town Council passed two resolutions here at their regular meeting on April 28 to approve two loans the town will receive for upcoming sewer system projects.

The money, which was recently approved by the Local Government Commission (LGC), comes from the NC Department of Environment Quality’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

Together, the loans total almost $3 million.

The first loan, in the amount of $1,096,500, will be used to replace two lift stations within the town limits. The work will include demolishing the existing lift stations and replacing them with more updated versions. According to information from LGC, one lift station dates back to 1965 and the other was constructed in 1985 but is susceptible to flooding.

The town will also receive $1,839,475 for the second loan to be used for rehabilitating much of the existing sewer system. The LGC noted that rehabilitation will reduce operation and maintenance costs associated with taking care of older infrastructure.

Both loans are for a term for 20 years.

Without any discussion, the town council voted unanimously to adopt both resolutions.

In Sept. 2020, the council approved an increase to water and sewer rates for the town after learning they would need to raise the rates in order to qualify for the funding. They later received numerous complaints from citizens about the steep increase compared to their previous bills.

“We, as a town, probably needed to have better communication skills,” acknowledged Mayor Hal Thomas at a Dec. 2020 meeting. “I think when we set up the new rate, we did the least amount we could possibly do to get a favorable grant.”

Other council members expressed that they understood citizen concerns, but it was also the council’s responsibility to do what was necessary to ensure the aging water and sewer system will continue operating.