Harrington May Borrow Money to Update Water System - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Harrington May Borrow Money to Update Water System

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Officials in Harrington are considering building a new water tower as part of a series of improvements to the city's water system. Officials in Harrington are considering building a new water tower as part of a series of improvements to the city's water system.

HARRINGTON, Del. -- Harrington will ask voters to approve the city's government borrowing roughly $4 million in borrowing to pay for improvements in its aging water system without the use of tax or utility rate hikes.

The city is planning on installing larger water mains underneath U.S. Route 13, Clark Street, and Liberty Street, constructing a new water tower, and creating another well. The two proposed sources of borrowing to pay for the improvements are a $1.86 million construction loan from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and federal funding that includes a $2.1 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture.

A referendum on both options is being held on Oct. 25. The city is holding a town hall meeting on the matter at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the Price Center, across from the municipal building.

City Manager Teresa Tieman said the state loan will pay interest only during construction and at the completion of the construction and the principal amount of the loan would not have to be repaid because the project is considered necessary. The USDA loan would be repaid at 1.625 percent and coupled with $201,000 in federal grant money.

Tieman said the work will improve water quality and public safety by adding redundancy.

"We have a two-inch line running down Route 13 that's just not suitable for fire suppression so it's a safety issue as well as a water quality issue and the lines are also a growth issue because they won't support the potential growth that Harrington has," she said.

The city recently sent out a letter explaining the reasoning behind the referendum and what was being asked of voters.

Harrington Resident Joseph Frederick Thomas said he's unsure if the project is necessary but acknowledged that much of the city's water system could use an upgrade.

"I don't really know if it's a good idea," he said. "I mean the water seems to be quite fine here but if the state thinks so, who am I to question them."

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