07/16/14 — Fremont receives approval for USDA funds

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Fremont receives approval for USDA funds

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on July 16, 2014 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The town of Fremont has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for a grant and loan combination to fund the purchase of a new garbage truck to replace its failing one.

The USDA grant will fund $75,000 of the truck with the remaining $103,000 being paid through an 11-year loan. The payments on the truck will be $11,758 annually. The town spent over that amount last year in repairs to its current truck as well as having to borrow neighboring municipality trucks or pay contractors to complete its routes.

The town spent $13,235 on maintenance for the truck during the last fiscal year with $81,880 being spent on the truck and contracting other services to cover the routes over the last six years.

"It really makes sense because we spent more on fixing it last year than we would on a payment," Mayor Darron Flowers said. "If we had done this earlier it would be almost paid off by now."

Before the grant and loan can be executed the town must hold a public hearing on the issue.

The public hearing is set for Tuesday, July 22 at 5 p.m. in the Fremont Town Hall on Main Street. The town also discussed a plan to charge out of town park users for the use of the town lights. The framework of the plan is modeled after a change the city of Wilson made in January to start charging for use of its parks. Flowers said that the town just wants to cover its own costs with the fees.

"The interest is to get our costs out of it," he said. "It's not a money making operation."

The board decided that whatever fee schedule was decided should start at the beginning of next year.

"It's July now," Alderman W.T. Smith said. "They have been playing for half the year without any costs so we shouldn't charge everyone for the second half. Let's just make it affective in January."

The lights installed on the large field, little league field and tennis courts draw 1.5 kilowatts per hour. The town charges $.08 per kilowatt giving the town a $.12 per hour cost per light.

The Town Board directed the town to develop a fee schedule based off of the town's costs.