By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
STEVENSVILLE — Trustees plan to cut costs for Lincoln Township taxpayers by obtaining lower interest rates for bonds issued nearly a decade ago.
Trustees approved a resolution Tuesday to allow the township to execute a refunding contract to get lower interest rates for the sewer and water bonds issued in 2007 for new water tanks and other related equipment.
Treasurer Terrie Smith told trustees the move could save taxpayers between $260,000 to $270,000, while cutting its connection to the Lake Michigan Shoreline Authority.
The Lake Michigan Shoreline Authority was formed to buy water from St. Joseph and sewer services from the Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant. Members are St. Joseph, Lincoln and Royalton townships, and Stevensville and Shoreham villages.
After Stevensville balked at the authority’s budget, the three townships formed the Southwest Michigan Regional Sanitary Sewer and Water Authority to oversee day-to-day operations. No posts were reserved specifically for Stevensville or Shoreham.
According to Herald-Palladium archives, the SWMI Water Authority began daily operations in 2008.
By selling the bonds and refinancing them through the SWMI Authority, Smith said it would not only save thousands of dollars, but allow the townships to disband the Lake Michigan Authority.
The bonds approved in 2007 was for about $6.7 million.
“Each municipality involved with the bond would get some savings,” Smith said. “We are paying 58 percent of the authority’s bills, so this will save the taxpayers money.”
After a second reading of an ordinance, trustees unanimously agreed to rezone about 19 acres at 532 Maiden Lane from a Neighborhood Residential District to a Planned Unit Development District.
The developer plans to build condominiums on the property.
Trustees and Lincoln Township police officers gathered at the beginning of the meeting to honor officer Bob Peterson, who retired from the township’s police force in April.
The next Township Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.