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Editorial: $7 million bond

Posted: October 18, 2018 10:26 a.m.
Updated: October 19, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Camden City Council’s recent passage, on first reading, of an ordinance authorizing the issue of up to $7 million in public utility bonds will pay for some more worthwhile upgrades in the city’s electric system.

The bond will cover $6.701 million worth of improvements; we presume the “up to” part of the bond ordinance is to cover any contingencies.

As we reported Tuesday, $4.1 million will go toward “undergrounding” -- literally moving underground -- electric lines in the Kirkwood community near Dusty Bend. Design work’s already started, bids go out in January and the work should finish in June 2020 or so.

The project will do for Kirkwood what such undergrounding has done for the rest of the city: beautify area streets by, ultimately, getting rid of electric poles. But such work has an additional benefit some people may not think of -- protecting electric lines from wind and other hazards, thus reducing the chance of outages and maintenance costs.

There will be two projects at East DeKalb and Mill streets to replace traffic lights and to underground lines at the intersection. Money will also be spent to upgrade lines along York Street between Ehrenclou Drive and Broad Street, and to upgrade lines on Springdale Drive between Knights Hill Road and Springdale Plaza.

These are all worthwhile projects. Just as important, with utilities being separate from the general budget, the bond will place no additional debt burden in that arena. And it doesn’t sound like there’ll be any rate increases to fund. A win-win all around for Camden.

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