Queen­stown sched­ules public hear­ing for bond is­sue

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTOPHER KERSEY

QUEEN­STOWN — The town com­mis­sion­ers will hold a public hear­ing on an or­di­nance that al­lows the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to is­sue a bond, not to ex­ceed $350,000, to fin­ish the con­struc­tion of the waste­water treat­ment plant, which is cur­rently op­er­at­ing.

The public hear­ing is sched­uled for 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, March 22, at the town of­fice, 7013 Main Street, Queen­stown. Town com­mis­sion­ers may or may not act on the or­di­nance at that time. They are sched­uled for a reg­u­lar meet­ing the night of the hear­ing.

If ap­proved, the bond will pay for a loan the town would take out from the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture for up to $350,000. Ac­cord­ing to the or­di­nance, the money is needed “due to cost over­runs.”

Town Clerk Amy Moore said the roof on one build­ing was re-done and an old build­ing was torn down and re­placed, caus­ing the need for the ad­di­tional funds.

The town has a long his­tory of bor­row­ing money for the project. On Jan. 22, 2014, the town en­acted an or­di­nance, which au­tho­rized, among other things, an in­terim line of credit loan from Queen­stown Bank for a max­i­mum amount of $7.39 mil­lion to fi­nance and re­fi­nance a por­tion of the costs of the project.

On Jan. 13, 2016, the town re­paid the in­terim loan with, among other avail­able funds, with pro­ceeds from three loans made to the town by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in the amounts of two $2.13 mil­lion loans and $621,000 loan.

In a re­lated devel­op­ment, the Bal­ti­more law firm of McKen­non, Shel­ton and Henn LLP was named to rep­re­sent the town as a bond coun­sel in con­nec­tion an­other with the town’s waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­ity.

The firm has as­signed an hourly billing rate for each at­tor­ney and para­le­gal for this is­sue. The as­signed hourly rate for law part­ners is $325, $225 for as­so­ci­ates, and $125 for par­ale­gals, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter from the firm.

“We an­tic­i­pate that our to­tal fees for the is­suance and clos­ing with re­spect to the 2017 USDA obli­ga­tion will not ex­ceed $4,500. Our fees will not ex­ceed this limit with­out [the town gov­ern­ment’s] con­sent,” said the let­ter.

“These es­ti­mates are based upon the cus­tom­ary re­quire­ments for USDA loans and the cur­rent hourly rates set forth above,” the let­ter said.

Out-of-pocket ex­penses and dis­burse­ments will be paid by the town gov­ern­ment in ad­di­tion to the pay­ment of the le­gal fees. The firm does not re­quire a re­tainer in this mat­ter at this time, the let­ter said.

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER KERSEY

Fund­ing for the fi­nal con­struc­tion of the Queen­stown Waste­water Treat­ment Plant (pic­tured) will be the sub­ject of public hear­ing on March 22.

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