KWA pipeline project update: lower interest rate than expected - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

KWA pipeline project update: lower interest rate than expected

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -

(04/03/14) - Genesee County, Flint and surrounding communities will be drinking Lake Huron water in a couple of years.

But first - they have to build the pipeline to get it here. They got some good news this week - they'll be saving money on this massive project.

When you combine construction costs and the interest they'll be paying - it comes to about $600 million for this project.

But the county and city of Flint get their water from Detroit right now - and the drain commissioner says even that hefty price tag is cheaper than sticking with Detroit.

Genesee County and the city of Flint sold $220 million in bonds on Tuesday for the KWA pipeline project.

"(We) estimated five percent for the bond sale," said John O'Brien with the Genesee Co. Drain Commission.

But they got some good news - they'll only be paying 4.72 percent in interest - saving roughly $28 million over the next 30 years.

"What that means is about $1 million less a year in annual payments," O'Brien said.

Right now, Genesee County and Flint struggle with rising water rates from Detroit. The KWA pipeline will bring in water from Lake Huron - making them self sufficient.

Lapeer and Sanilac counties are also in on this project - which broke ground last year.

American Cast Iron Pipe Co. will be providing the pipeline for this project. They plan to break ground at the old Buick City site in May or June when the frost is gone.

The business had a tax abatement hearing Thursday afternoon - they're applying for a 50 percent abatement of the assessed property value.

Emergency Manager Darnell Earley will have to say yes or no to that request.

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