Council approves $18 million in borrowing for sewer system repairs

Trina Baughn

Trina Baughn

After more than an hour of discussion, the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday approved the borrowing of $18 million in low-interest state loans to help pay for a $23 million project to fix the municipal sewer system.

Council voted 6-1 to borrow the money at a 1.23 percent interest rate through the State Revolving Fund program, which is administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The work is being done to comply with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order that requires Oak Ridge to repair all sewer system overflows by Sept. 28, 2015.

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Alexander supports balanced budget amendment to U.S. Constitution

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander on Wednesday announced he will be an original cosponsor of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“For eight years as governor, I balanced Tennessee’s budget, and other states balance their budgets—I don’t see why Washington can’t do the same,” said Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.

The second-term senator said the federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends, and that’s money the country dosen’t have.

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Guest column: Oak Ridge needs debt policy, debt ceiling

Trina Baughn

Trina Baughn

At under 45 minutes, this month’s City Council meeting may have been the shortest meeting they’ve ever held. While it was a nice change from the normal three-hour meetings, I wonder why council didn’t take the opportunity to discuss anything of significance given our city’s various, not to mention serious, problems. After all, they are limited in how often they meet to accomplish anything. Yet, they were perfectly content to accomplish nothing.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about our city’s debt—a bill that is quickly approaching $200 million. I implored the city to develop a debt policy that would establish a debt ceiling, a debt reduction plan, and parameters for borrowing.

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